Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said that the Indian Army has sent a hotline message to the People’s Liberation Army of China for returning the five boys who had apparently strayed beyond the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The five boys, belonging to the Tagin community and hailing from the Nacho area of the Upper Subansiri district, had gone missing on Friday. The district falls under the Arunachal West parliamentary constituency, represented by Mr. Rijiju.
“The Indian Army has already sent a hotline message to the counterpart PLA establishment at the border point in Arunachal Pradesh. Response is awaited,” the Union Minister tweeted on Sunday.
Families lodge complaint
The district police said they have launched a probe after the families of the missing boys lodged an informal complaint. The officer-in-charge of the Nacho police station visited the spot from where the boys went missing, but the report is expected to take time for completion because of the terrain that needs to be covered.
Nacho is about 130 km from district headquarters Daporijo, with a high-altitude jungle stretching further uphill.
The five were said to have gone hunting — a way of life for the people there with poor access to electricity, road and telecommunication networks. But Prakash Ringling said his brother Prasad Ringling – one of the missing five – was working as a porter for the Army.
The other missing boys were identified as Toch Singkam, Dongtu Ebiya, Tanu Baker and Ngari Diri.
There have been several instances in the past of people “abducted” or captured by the Chinese soldiers from the LAC.
In March, 21-year-old Togley Sinkam was taken away at gunpoint from the Asapila sector of the district while two of his friends managed to escape. The Chinese Army released him after 19 days in captivity.