Chinese army hands over missing Arunachal teen to India; Rijiju shares pictures

Chinese army hands over missing Arunachal teen to India; Rijiju shares pictures

New Delhi: China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has handed over the missing teenager from Arunachal Pradesh to the Indian Army, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday.

He said the youth was handed over at Wacha-Damai interaction point in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

Nineteen-year-old Miram Taron of Jido Village in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh was found missing on January 18.

In a tweet, the minister said due procedures are being followed including the boy's medical examination.

"The Chinese PLA has handed over the young boy from Arunachal Pradesh Miram Taron to Indian Army. Due procedures are being followed including the medical examination," he wrote.

The Chinese military meanwhile said that the missing youth was found by a PLA border patrol.

"Recently Chinese border troops in China's Motuo county on patrol found an illegal entry into the territory of the Chinese side by an Indian personnel and carried out according to the relevant provisions of border control, routine interrogation, epidemic prevention and isolation, and provision of humanitarian relief," PLA Western Theatre Command Spokesman Senior Colonel Long Shaohua said.

The Indian Army had requested the Chinese side to assist in the search through the border hotline, and the two sides maintained communication through the border meeting channel, he said in a statement on the social media account of the PLA's Western Theatre Command.

The boy now has been handed over to the Indian side, he said.

"We urge the Indian side to strictly implement the bilateral agreements, strengthen personnel control and effectively maintain normal order in the border areas," he said.

In another tweet later, Rijiju thanked the Army for pursuing the case meticulously with PLA and safely securing the youth.

He also shared pictures of armymen and the teenager dressed in personal protective equipment to prevent Covid infection.

"The Chinese PLA handed over the young boy from Arunachal Pradesh Shri Miram Taron to Indian Army at WACHA-DAMAI interaction point in Arunachal Pradesh today. I thank our proud Indian Army for pursuing the case meticulously with PLA and safely securing our young boy back home," he said.

On Tuesday, the Union minister, who represents the state in Lok Sabha, had said the Chinese side had conveyed to the Indian Army on January 20 that they had found a boy on their side and requested for further details to establish the identity.

"To assist Chinese side in corroborating the identity, personal details and photo of the individual has been shared with the Chinese side by the Indian Army. Response from the Chinese side is awaited," Rijiju had said in a statement put out on social media.

"Some people reported that Chinese PLA had taken him into their custody, it said.

Rijiju said that since the individual was missing from an area close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Army immediately approached the Chinese side on January 19, asking for assistance in tracing and return of the individual, in case he had strayed into the Chinese territory or PLA has taken him in their custody.

The Chinese side had given an assurance that they would search for the individual and return him as per established protocol, the minister had said.

On January 19, BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh, Tapir Gao, brought to light the abduction of Taron.

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