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China's PLA Confirms 5 Civilians Missing From Arunachal Pradesh Have Been Found, Says Minister

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo Credit: PTI)

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo Credit: PTI)

The development comes after Rijiju said that the Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the establishment of PLA at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said that China's People's Liberation Army has confirmed that the missing youths from Arunachal Pradesh have been found by their side and added that the modalities on the handover process are being worked out. The development comes after Rijiju said that the Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the establishment of PLA at the border point.

"China's PLA has responded to the hotline message sent by Indian Army. They have confirmed that the missing youths from Arunachal Pradesh have been found by their side. Further modalities to handover the persons to our authority is being worked out," Rijiju tweeted.

Earlier on Saturday, a senior Arunachal Pradesh police officer had said that the cops had launched a probe after reports stated that five people, who had gone hunting in a forest in Upper Subansiri district on the Sino-India border, were allegedly kidnapped by the Chinese military.

News agency PTI reported that the incident occurred on Friday in Nacho area of the district. Two others, who were in the group, managed to escape and informed police. Those reportedly kidnapped have been identified as Toch Singkam, Prasat Ringling, Dongtu Ebiya, Tanu Baker and Ngaru Diri. All of them belong to the Tagin community.

Their relatives who are living at district headquarters Daporijo, said that some of their relatives had left for Nacho Saturday morning to discuss the matter with the Indian Army. Nacho is around 120 kilometers from the district headquarters.

The incident comes at a time when the Indian army has heightened its deployment along the 3,400 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) amid tensions at the border with China in eastern Ladakh. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a media briefing in Beijing that "China's position on the east sector of the China-India boundary, or Zangnan (the southern part of China's Xizang (Tibet) ), is consistent and clear." He added that the Chinese government has never recognised the "so-called Arunachal Pradesh".

"I'm not aware of the situation you mentioned," the spokesperson said when asked about the missing Indian nationals.

Pasighat West MLA Ninong Ering said that befitting reply must be given to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for the incident. "Five people from Upper Subansiri district of our state Arunachal Pradesh have reportedly been abducted by Chinas Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). Few months earlier, a similar incident happened. A befitting reply must be given to #PLA and #CCPChina. @PMOIndia," he wrote on Twitter.

In March, a 21-year-old man was abducted by the PLA from Asapila sector near the McMahon line. While his two friends managed to escape, Togley Sinkam was taken away at gunpoint, his family had said. After 19 days in captivity, the youth was released by the Chinese Army. His two friends managed to escape, but Togley Sinkam was taken away at gunpoint, his family had said. He was released by the Chinese army after 19 days in captivity.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army had on September 2 given food, clothes and medical aid to three Chinese citizens who accidentally ventured into Indian territory after they lost their way at an altitude of 17,500 feet in a border area in North Sikkim, news agency PTI reported. Besides this, the Indian Army personnel stationed in the area also helped the Chinese citizens, including a woman, to return to the Chinese side and reach their destination.