Top officials of Arunachal Pradesh have alleged that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has abducted a 17-year-old youth from the state’s Upper Siang district. The youth identified as Miram Taron, a native of Zido village, was allegedly abducted by the PLA while he was hunting in the border area between India and China, along with some other companions.
“The youth was among a group of local hunters. Other members of his group who were able to escape informed us that he was abducted by the PLA from the Indian side,” said Shashvat Saurabh, deputy commissioner of Upper Siang. He added, “As soon as we came to know of the matter, we informed the officials of the Indian Army that operate in the region. Continuous efforts are underway to rescue the youth at the earliest.”
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Tapir Gao tweeted regarding the same, claiming that the boy was abducted from Lungta Jor area, where China built a 3-4 kms road in 2018. “Chinese PLA has abducted Sh Miram Taron, 17 years of Zido vill. yesterday 18 Jan 2022 from inside Indian territory, Lungta Jor area (China built 3-4 kms road inside India in 2018) under Siyungla area (Bishing village) of Upper Siang dist, Arunachal Pradesh,” shared Gao. He informed, “His friend escaped from PLA and reported to the authorities. All the agencies of Govt of India is requested to step up for his early release.”
Defence sources said, “The Indian Army has contacted the PLA. Assistance from the PLA has been sought to locate the individual on their side and return him as per established protocol.”
Congress top leader Rahul Gandhi took the opportunity to slam Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his silence in the matter. “A few days before Republic Day, a boy, the future of India, is kidnapped by China – We are with the family of Miram Taroun and will not give up hope, will not give up. PM’s silence is his statement – he doesn’t care!” he said. Rahul Gandhi has taken a jibe at the Modi government regarding his “silence” over the neighbouring country building a bridge over the Pangong Tso lake before. “I hope the PM doesn’t reach the area to inaugurate the Chinese bridge now,” he had said earlier.
Congress MLA Ninong Ering from Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat West constituency stated that the abduction and China’s intrusion in the Indian territory is unfortunate, and that he has spoken to the SP of Yinkiong regarding the incident. “This is a very serious problem which once again has arisen in Arunachal Pradesh. The 17-year-old Miram Taron has been abducted by China’s PLA from Arunachal Pradesh’s Zido area, Upper Siang district, Lungta Jor area. It’s unfortunate that the Chinese are intruding (into Indian territory),” said the Congress MLA. “The SP has confirmed the incident. The boy was abducted from a spot near Bising, where the Tsangpo river enters as Siang in Arunachal and Brahmaputra in Assam,” he added.
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This is not the first instance where the Chinese PLA has allegedly abducted an Indian youth. In September 2020, five youths who used to work as porters for the Indian Army went missing from Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh from the Indian side of the McMahon line that bifurcates Arunachal Pradesh and the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The brother of one of the abducted youths had posted on social media claiming that his brother was abducted by the Chinese army. BJP MP Tapir Gao and Congress MLA Ninong Ering also claimed the same.
However, it was later revealed that the youths crossed the border while hunting for medicinal herbs and were later handed over to India after 10 days by the Chinese authorities. The Indian Army had noted at the time that this was the third instance where youths living near the Indo-China border area in Arunachal Pradesh have “strayed inadvertently to the other side of line of actual control (LAC)” during “adventurous forays”.
In December last year, China had declared that 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh belong to it and claimed them as South Tibet. China has announced that a total of 90,000 sq kms of the state is its own territory and has named it “Zangan”. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China spans a length of 3,400 kms from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. The latest report of abduction comes at a time when both nations’ armies are in a standoff in Eastern Ladakh.