The Indian Army has reached out to its Chinese counterpart after reports a 17-year-old boy has gone missing near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh's Upper Siang district.
Defence establishment sources told NDTV the People's Liberation Army had been contacted via the 'hotline' to alert them that an Indian citizen out hunting had lost his way. China's assistance has been sought in locating and returning him, in accordance with established protocol, sources said.
Miram Taron was reported missing Wednesday by Tapir Gao, the Lok Sabha MP from Arunchal (East), who told news agency PTI Taron and his friend, Johny Yaiying, had been targeted..
Yaiying "escaped from the PLA" and alerted the authorities, Mr Gao told PTI over the phone from Ziro, the HQ of Arunachal Pradesh's Lower Subansiri district.
"All agencies of the Government of India are requested to step up for his early release," Mr Gao said, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the Indian Army.
1/2— Tapir Gao (@TapirGao) January 19, 2022
Chinese #PLA has abducted Sh Miram Taron, 17 years of Zido vill. yesterday 18th 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. pic.twitter.com/ecKzGfgjB7
The alleged abduction took place near the Tsangpo River's entry into India; the Tsangpo becomes the Siang when it enters Arunachal Pradesh and the Brahmaputra River when it enters Assam.
Sources in the Indian Army and the Arunachal Pradesh government told NDTV a boy - part of a local hunting group frequenting remote areas along the LAC - did, in fact, go missing there on Tuesday.
The area the boy went missing is the same in which the Chinese and Indian armies, as well as construction workers from China and local villagers faced off in 2018 over the construction of a road.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi ripped into Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning, accusing him of not caring; "The Prime Minister's silence is his statement... he doesn't care."
"Just a few days before Republic Day a young boy, the future of India, was kidnapped by China. We stand with the family of Miram Taron. Won't give up hope... won't accept defeat," Mr Gandhi said.
गणतंत्र दिवस से कुछ दिन पहले भारत के एक भाग्य विधाता का चीन ने अपहरण किया है- हम मीराम तारौन के परिवार के साथ हैं और उम्मीद नहीं छोड़ेंगे, हार नहीं मानेंगे।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 20, 2022
PM की बुज़दिल चुप्पी ही उनका बयान है- उन्हें फ़र्क़ नहीं पड़ता!
Ninong Ering, a Congress MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Pasighat West constituency, told news agency ANI the alleged kidnapping represented "a very serious problem that has once again arisen" and that "it is unfortunate the Chinese are intruding into Indian territory".
In September 2020, the PLA kidnapped five boys from the Upper Subansiri district. They were released a week later, but not before the Indian Army reached out to defuse the situation.
In March the same year a 21-year-old man was abducted by the Chinese from the same area, before he too was released after intervention from the Indian Army.
With input from ANI, PTI