Amid the face-off between the Indian and Chinese armies in Ladakh , China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly abducted five people from Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Officials in the district said no one has lodged any formal complaint with the police or the armed forces that guard strategic areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries.
But they said there had been instances of the PLA having ‘abducted’ and released people – usually hunters who venture deep into the jungles straddling parts of the vague boundary – in the past.
“We came to know from social media that five people belonging to the Tagin community were abducted by the PLA from a jungle near Nacho when they were out hunting. The families of the missing people have not lodged any formal complaint,” Upper Subansiri’s Superintendent of Police Keni Bagra said.
“We are trying to verify the fact and are in touch with the Army since there have been past instances of the PLA capturing locals from the LAC and releasing them,” he added.
No information: Army
Army officials said they have no information about the missing persons.
But Nacho resident Prakash Ringling said his brother Prasad Ringling and the four others were working as porter for the Army along the LAC and were abducted by PLA personnel from Sera-7 on the international border.
“He is a student and had returned home due to the COVID-19 restrictions. He took up the job of an Army porter for sustenance. I request the State government and the Army to help bring the boys back,” Mr. Ringling said.
Nacho, about 130 km from district headquarters Daporijo, is a village with less than 400 people but has a police station. Mr. Bagra said the officer in charge of the police station had been asked to find out the details.
District officials said the PLA had caught a person, also a hunter from the Tagin community, from near the LAC more than two months ago. He was released a month later after meetings between Army officials of the two countries.
“Apart from instances of local people straying into each other’s country, we are not aware of any Ladakh-like tension along the LAC, stretches of which are an average of 260 km away from Daporijo,” a district official said.
AAPSU condemns PLA action
The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has condemned the repeated incursions by the PLA to create “tensions” along the LAC.
“We are very much shocked and agitated that even in times of COVID-19-induced sufferings, the Chinese are resorting to war-mongering and mentally harassing the peaceful people living along the LAC by their rhetoric and notorious antics,” the union said in a statement.
“Arunachal Pradesh and the AAPSU stand strong with the brave jawans of our Army. We will never propagate anything other than peace. However, we strongly urge our Army for giving a befitting reply to any misadventures from across the border,” the union said.