A day after local media reported that five youths from Arunachal Pradesh were “abducted” by the Chinese Army, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said the Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the establishment of People’s Liberation Army and a response was awaited.
“The Indian Army has already sent hotline message to the counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh. Response is awaited,” Rijiju tweeted.
On Saturday, the Indian Army and police said they had received no such complaint even though a police team had left for the remote border village in Upper Subansiri district where the youths are said to reside.
The incident came to light after a tweet by Tapir Gao, MP from East Arunachal constituency. “5 Tagin youths have reportedly been abducted by China’s #PLA from Sera7 area below the McMahon Line under Indian territory in Upper Subansiri in Arunachal since 3rd Sept. Similar incident happened in March. Time to take a stand against #CCP,” Gao tweeted. Tagin is the tribe the men belong to.
The development comes amid tensions escalating in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control with China, with Indian troops occupying strategic heights in the Chushul sector.
Congress MLA Ninong Ering, in his tweet, attached screenshots from Facebook by one Prakash Ringling who wrote that his brother and four others were abducted by the PLA in the Sera-7 area on the Indo-China border. “So, kindly request to state govt and Indian Army authority take immediate actions,” wrote Ringling.
Reacting to Rijiju’s tweet, Ering said, “Thankful to Indian Army and Sh Kiren Rijiju Ji, hope we receive response of hotline message sent to counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh. We expect safe return of all the five people soon.”
“We have no report of any such incident, but we have alerted our teams and are in constant touch with the civil administration for the same. The SP of Upper Subansiri said they have not received any missing complaint yet,” Defence Spokesperson Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande had said on Saturday.