ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Pradesh police on Monday said that the whereabouts of the five youths from Upper Subansiri district on the Sino-India border, who were allegedly abducted by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), are yet to be known. Five villagers from Nacho area of the district, who went for hunting in a jungle were allegedly kidnapped by the PLA. Engaged as porters and guides by the Army, the youths were reported missing by their families through social media Friday last. Two members of the group returned home and informed the families of the other five that they had been whisked away by the Chinese troops from Sera-7, an Army patrol zone located about 12 km further north of Nacho.
Nacho is the last administrative Circle along the McMahon Line; and is around 120 km from the district headquarters -- Daporijo.
Tezpur-based Defence spokesman Lt Col Harshvarshan Pande said, "We have alerted our teams and are in constant touch with the civil administration. The SP of Upper Subansiri said that they have not received any missing complaint yet. Earlier, talking about the incident, Upper Subansiri Superintendent of Police (SP) Taru Gussar had said, "We came to know from local sources that five people belonging to the Tagin community were abducted by the PLA from a jungle near Nacho when they were out hunting".
The SP 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.
"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," the SP said. Those allegedly kidnapped have been identified as Toch Singkam, Prasat Ringling, Dongtu Ebiya, Tanu Baker and Ngaru Diri.
The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has termed the incident as "unfortunate" and called upon both the central and state governments to ensure early and safe release of the youths. "The recent incident is not an isolated case as time and again the PLA has been repeatedly indulging in similar antics whereby innocent civilians living at the inhospitable border areas are taken captive at regular intervals," the Union said in a statement.
In March, a 21-year-old man was abducted by the PLA from Asapila Sector near the McMahon Line. While his two friends managed to escape, Togley Sinkam was taken away at gunpoint, his family had said. After 19 days, the youth was released by the Chinese Army.