GUWAHATI: Indian Army on Saturday took over all five youths from Arunachal Pradesh from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Kibithu in Anjaw district, some 350 km from Assam’s Tinsukia district, after completing all the formalities.
The five from Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Subansiri have been missing after they went for a hunting exercise earlier and later traced inside Chinese territory. On September 8, the Chinese PLA confirmed that the five youths were found on the Chinese side.
Lt Col Harsh Wardhan Pande, PRO Defence, told TIME8, “All of them will now be quarantined for 14 days as per COVID-19 protocol and will thereafter be handed over to their family members.” Sources said all of them were healthy.
Arunachal Pradesh is known for its rich natural heritage and adventurous people fond of exploring nature for medicinal herbs and possessing a traditional flair for hunting which involves surviving off the land for weeks in jungles and far-flung remote areas. During such adventurous forays, at times youth have inadvertently strayed to the other side of LAC.
“Indian Army has always been proactive in tracing the lost locals and helping them return home. Three such incidents took place in the current year in Upper Subansiri and West Siang District including the latest one. All such individuals were brought back home safely after consistent efforts and coordination by the Indian Army in the past,” the PRO added.
Indian Army had approached PLA on hotline to trace and return them.