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Returning ‘abducted’ Arunachal boy, PLA says it found him in Chinese territory during patrol

17-year-old Miram Taron was handed over to the Indian Army Thursday. He went missing from the Lungta Jor area in Upper Siang district on 18 January while on a hunting trip.

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Guwahati: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Thursday handed over a 17-year-old youth who it had reportedly captured from Arunachal Pradesh on 18 January to the Indian Army. 

Arunachal Pradesh MP Kiren Rijiju, who is also the Union law minister, in a tweet wrote that the PLA had handed over the “young boy” to the Indian Army. “Due procedures are being followed including the medical examination,” he added.

In a following tweet, Rijiju shared pictures of the teen with Army officials at the Wacha-Damai interaction point. “I thank our proud Indian Army for pursuing the case meticulously with PLA and safely securing our young boy back home,” he wrote.


The 17-year-old, Miram Taron, went missing from the Lungta Jor area in the state’s Upper Siang district while on a hunting trip

A Global Times report Thursday quoted a statement by Senior Colonel Long Shaohua, a spokesperson at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Western Theatre Command, who said that Taron had been found by Chinese border defence troops during a recent patrol in Medog County in Xizang — China’s name for its Tibet Autonomous Region. 

“The Chinese border defence troops carried out a routine inquiry and an epidemic prevention quarantine, and provided humanitarian aid,” the statement further said. It added, “We urge the Indian side to strictly abide by the bilateral protocols and agreements, enhance personnel management and control, and practically safeguard the normal order in the border region.”

A tense few days

News of the youth’s alleged abduction had gone viral on social media after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Arunachal East, Tapir Gao, tweeted about the issue on 19 January, seeking intervention by government agencies “to step up for his early release”.

Gao’s tweet was also shared by Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Randeep Singh Surjewala, who were critical of the Narendra Modi government over the incident, while former Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Modi for his “silence” on the issue. 

China denied the kidnapping charge, saying that it only “cracks down on illegal border entry and exit”. Citing the Chinese foreign ministry, the state-run Global Times said in a tweet on 21 January, “The PLA controls the border according to law and cracks down on illegal border entry and exit.”

Then, on 23 January, China confirmed that it had found the missing boy.

Rijiju in a tweet Wednesday wrote of a “hotline exchange” between the Indian Army and the PLA, saying that the latter had “responded positively” and was likely to “intimate date and time soon”.

(Edited by Rohan Manoj)

Also read: South China Sea or Arunachal Pradesh – China is using lawfare to expand territory


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