New Delhi: A day after denying charges, China’s People’s Liberation Army on Tuesday confirmed that five youths missing from Arunachal Pradesh have been found by them and their handing over process to Indian authorities is being worked out, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju informed on Tuesday. Also Read - 'India Prepared For Any Eventuality': Air Force Chief Bhadauria Lauds Rafale Induction Amid India-China Standoff in Ladakh
“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,” Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister and MP from Arunachal Pradesh, said in a tweet. Also Read - Unlock 5: These States Plan to Reopen Tourist Destinations From October | Complete SOPs Here
Amid standoff in eastern Ladakh, five youths from Arunchal Pradesh had gone missing on Friday from the Sino-Indian border in the Upper Subansiri district of the state.
On Monday, the Arunachal Pradesh police said that the whereabouts of the five youths allegedly abducted by China’s People’s Liberation Army(PLA) are not yet known.
Engaged as porters and guides by the Indian army, the five villagers from the Nacho area of Upper Subansiri district who were part of a 7-member group which went for hunting in a jungle were reported missing by their families through social media last Friday.
China, meanwhile, brushed off concerns over the whereabouts of the five youths and needled India, saying it has never recognised the northeastern state which it claims is part of south Tibet.
“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,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
“I’m not aware of the situation you mentioned,” the spokesperson said when asked about any updates about the missing Indian nationals. The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) condemned the Chinese statement dubbing the state as part of “South Tibet”.
Rijiju took to Twitter on Sunday to say the Indian army has already sent a hotline message to the PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh and that a response is awaited.
Those allegedly kidnapped have been identified as Toch Singkam, Prasat Ringling, Dongtu Ebiya, Tanu Baker and Ngaru Diri.
(With inputs from PTI)