KEY POINTS

  • Miram Taron was allegedly kidnapped by the PLA soldiers Tuesday night
  • The Indian Army said they have contacted PLA seeking the return of the teen
  • Several incidents of PLA taking Indian citizens have been reported earlier

An Indian lawmaker has alleged that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) abducted a 17-year-old boy from Indian territory near the Line of Actual Control, the effective boundary that runs along the ragged mountains in the Himalayan region. The Asian giants have been engaged in a fierce border row over the last two years. 

According to Tapir Gao, a lawmaker from the ruling Bharathiya Janata Party, the teen Miram Taron was kidnapped by the PLA from the Lungta Jor area in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, reported NDTV.

While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its territory, calling it South Tibet, New Delhi has vehemently denied its claim, saying Arunachal Pradesh is an "integral part of India."

Gao alleged that Taron's friend Johny Yaiying, who managed to escape, informed the authorities about the kidnapping by the PLA. Both Taron and Yaiying are hunters from a nearby village. 

Taron and Yaiying were reportedly hunting Tuesday night when they were suddenly surrounded by the PLA soldiers. 

"We understand there is no physical boundary dividing India and China but Mr. Yaying is certain they were inside India when the PLA surrounded them,” a local administrative officer told The Hindu. 

Following the incident, the Indian Army took to Twitter to confirm the incident and said it is in touch with the PLA.

"17-year-old youth Miram Taron of Zido, Arunachal Pradesh was reportedly captured by PLA across the LAC. On receipt of info, Indian Army immediately contacted PLA through a hotline. Assistance from PLA has been sought to locate and return him as per protocol,” the tweet read.

However, Indian media reported that China's foreign ministry has denied abduction. "I don’t know the situation. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army controls borders in accordance with the law and cracks down on illegal entry and exit activities," the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing was quoted by PTI.

This isn't the first time that India is alleging kidnapping of its citizens by the Chinese troops. In September 2020, the PLA troops had abducted five youths from near the McMohan Line in Arunachal Pradesh and were released only a week later.

In March 2020, another youth Togley Singkam was attacked by Chinese security personnel , who when he was fishing with his friends. Singkam was abducted at gunpoint and allegedly tortured.

China-India relations began worsening in 2020 following border disputes between the neighbors. China's recent efforts to rename various locations in Arunachal Pradesh (Zangnan in China) were met with disdain by Indian authorities.

"Calling Tuting as “DouDeng” or River Siyom as “XiYueMu” or even Kibithu as “Daba” does not alter the fact that Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always remain an inalienable part of India,” official spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had reacted then.

arunachal pradesh A signboard is seen from the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Files