Ten days after straying across the border during exploration to hunt and collect medicinal herbs, five youths from Arunachal Pradesh were handed back to India on Saturday, September 12 by the Chinese authorities, Indian Army officials confirmed.
After the handover took place in the Chinese territory this morning, the men reached India and entered Arunachal Pradesh through the Kibithu border post this afternoon. These five individuals will be quarantined for fourteen days and then they will be handed over to their respective family. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju had tweeted on Friday, “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.”
These individuals were identified as porters by their families and locals. The army said this was the third incident that had taken place this year in Upper Subansiri and West Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh and that all have been brought back home.
The sources said that the army as well as Indo-Tibetan Border Police uses locals as porters, guides, and scouts during Long-range patrols. The army needs help from these porters to carry supplies at all strategic points along the effective border between India and China.
India and China have been locked in a military stand-off in eastern Ladakh since May when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) intruded into the Indian territory. And the disappearance of the five individuals and the claim their ‘abduction’ had added to increase the tension between countries.