China to hand over 5 missing youths from Arunachal tomorrow: Rijiju

New Delhi (NVI): China will hand over five Indian nationals to the Indian Army tomorrow, who went missing from Arunachal Pradesh last Saturday. The Chinese troops are likely to hand over the missing Arunachali youths at a designated location tomorrow, according to Union Minister Kiren Rijiju.

“The Chinese PLA has confirmed to Indian Army to hand over the youths from Arunachal Pradesh to our side. The handing over is likely to take place anytime tomorrow i.e. 12th September 2020 at a designated location,” Rijiju said in a tweet.

On September 8, Rijiju had tweeted that China’s PLA had responded to the hotline message sent by the Indian Army and confirmed that the missing youths from Arunachal had been found at their side.             

Earlier, the Indian Army had said that the five missing men who had been missing since September 1 were hunters even as the locals said that they were porters.

Since the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is not demarcated in many places in Arunachal, people from both sides have been caught on the either side in the past as well.

Rijiju was the first one who broke the news of PLA’s confirmation that the youths who had been caught last week were Indian nationals.

However, the development comes amid the border stand-off between the two countries at LAC in Ladakh. On Monday, China had brushed off concerns over the whereabouts of the five youths and came up with a controversial remark that it has never recognised Arunachal Pradesh which it claims is part of south Tibet.

This also comes after two-and-half hours of bilateral talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow yesterday, as the two sides reached a five-point agreement to disengage and de-escalate the situation along the border.

-ARK