Chinese army returned missing Arunachal youth: Union minister Kiren Rijiju

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has returned the Arunachal youth who had apparently strayed into Chinese territory last week. Union Law Minister and BJP leader from the state Kiren Rijiju said on Thursday that the boy named Miram Taron has been handed over to the Indian Army.

Rijiju tweeted saying, “The Chinese PLA has handed over the young boy from Arunachal Pradesh Shri Miram Taron to Indian Army. Due procedures are being followed including the medical examination.”

On Wednesday, he had mentioned that the PLA had confirmed that Taron “will be repatriated to the Indian side” adding, “will disclose the exact place & time later for smooth proceeding. Accordingly, the Indian Army has coordinated the necessary arrangements with the Chinese Side.”

The young man had gone missing on January 18, which was brought to light by BJP MP from the state Tapir Gao, who alleged that Taron had been abducted by the PLA from Indian territory, a charge that Taron’s parents also repeated.

But Rijiju said on Wednesday that while the PLA had found the man on the Chinese side, bad weather had delayed his return. He had tweeted that “hotline exchanged on Republic Day by Indian Army with Chinese PLA” which “responded positively indicating handing over of our national and suggested a place of release. They are likely to intimate date and time soon. Delay attributed to bad weather conditions on their side.”

Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Chinese government, quoted PLA’s Western Theatre Commander on Thursday saying “after providing humanitarian aid, Chinese border defense troops turned over” an Indian citizen who had entered the “Chinese territory illegally to the Indian side”.

Rijiju had said earlier, “Some people reported that Chinese PLA had taken him into their custody. Since the individual was missing from an area close to LAC (Line of Actual Control), Indian Army immediately approached 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.”

He said the “Chinese side had assured that they would search for the individual and return him as per established protocol”. China had intimated on January 20 “that they had found a boy on their side and requested for further details to establish the identity”, after which his personal details and identity were shared, Rijiju had said earlier this week.

Rijiju had earlier appealed to everyone to be cautious in making statements that are not based on facts because the safety and safe return of our young Arunachal Pradesh youth was the priority.

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