China's People Liberation Army (PLA) on Tuesday, 18 January, abducted a teenage boy from the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh's Upper Siang district, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian alleged.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the matter.
According to MP Tapir Gao, 17-year-old Miram Taron of Zido village was abducted by the PLA from Bishing village of Siyungla area, where China had constructed a road of 3-4 km within the Indian territory.
"His friend escaped from PLA and reported it to the authorities. All the agencies of the Government of India are requested to step up for his early release," Gao alleged in a tweet, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and the Indian Army.
'Indian Army Has Contacted PLA': Officials
"The Indian Army has contacted the PLA. Assistance from the PLA has been sought to locate the individual on their side and return him as per established protocol," defence sources said, according to ANI.
"17 yr old youth Miram Tarom of Zido, Arunachal Pradesh was reportedly captured by Chinese PLA across the LAC. Indian Army immediately contacted PLA through hotline, assistance from PLA has been sought to locate & return him as per protocol," PRO Defence, Tezpur, told ANI.
Speaking to EastMojo, Upper Siang superintendent of police Jummar Basar also said that the higher authorities have been apprised of the matter.
The SP said, “The operation area falls under the Indian Army so the matter will be dealt with at a higher level. From our side, we have already escalated the same to the police headquarters."
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed PM Narendra Modi's silence on the matter.
"A few days before Republic Day, a boy, the future of India, is kidnapped by China - We are with the family of Miram Taroun and will not give up hope, will not give up. PM's silence is his statement - he doesn't care! [sic]," he said in a tweet.
Taron and his friend Johny Yaiying are local hunters. While Yaiying escaped the PLA on Tuesday, Taron's kidnapping took place near the site where the Tsangpo River enters India in Arunachal Pradesh, BJP MP Gao told news agency PTI.
MP Gao also said that he had apprised Union Minister of State for Home Nisith Pramanik about the incident, and had appealed to him to take necessary action.
Congress MLA Ninong Ering was quoted as saying by ANI: "We've come to know that 17-year-old Miram Taron has been abducted by China's PLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Zido area, Upper Siang district, Lungta Jor area... It's unfortunate that Chinese are intruding (into Indian territory)."
The abduction comes at a time when the two nations continue to be engaged in a stand-off in eastern Ladakh, which began in April 2020.
In December 2021, Beijing had announced that it had standardised – in Chinese characters as well as Tibetan and Roman alphabet – the names of 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls 'Zangnan.' China claims that about 90,000 square km of Arunachal Pradesh or 'Zangnan' is a part of South Tibet.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI.)