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China Returns Missing Arunachal Boy | A Timeline Of Events

What happened to Miran Taron and how did the Indian government approach his disappearance?

Miram Taron from Arunachal Pradesh was allegedly 'abducted' by China's PLA.
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The Chinese army has handed over the missing teenager from Arunachal Pradesh to India on Thursday, said Union Minister Kiren Rijiju. On Twitter, the minister wrote “The Chinese PLA has handed over the young boy from Arunachal Pradesh Shri Miram Taron to Indian Army. Due procedures are being followed including the medical examination.” 

Earlier on Wednesday, he said, “Chinese PLA has confirmed that young Indian from Arunachal Pradesh Shri Miram Taron will be repatriated to the Indian side. Will disclose the exact place & time later for smooth proceeding. Accordingly, Indian Army has coordinated the necessary arrangements with the Chinese Side(sic).”

What happened to Miran Taron and how did the Indian government approach his disappearance? 

The 19-year-old teenager, a resident of Zido village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Upper Siang district, went missing from near the Line of Actual Control earlier in January, this year. The incident was reported from the Siyungla area of Bishing, the last Indian village on the India-China border along the left bank of Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh. 

Following his disappearance, on January 19, the Indian government immediately approached China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) seeking their assistance to trace him and return the boy, in case the PLA has taken him into their custody. 

Johnny Yuing, an eyewitness, who had accompanied Taron on that day revealed that the PLA had taken Taron in their captivity while the duo was out hunting at the Siyangala area. The boys could not proceed with their hunting due to darkness, and it was then when the Chinese PLA had come and took Miriam, according to Yuing. “They chased me but I managed to flee the area. I informed the nearest Indian army check post about the abduction. The next day, I returned to Tuting and informed Miriam's family members and the Indian Army camp at Tuting,” said Yuing. 

Following Yuing’s statement, Tapir Gao, a BJP MP alleged that Taron has been “abducted” by the PLA. In a tweet, he wrote, “Chinese #PLA has abducted Miram Taron, 17 years of Zido vill. yesterday 18th Jan 2022 from inside Indian territory, Lungta Jor area (China built 3-4 kms road inside India in 2018) under Siyungla area (Bishing village) of Upper Siang dist, Arunachal Pradesh(sic).”

On January 20,  a defence spokesperson in Assam’s Tezpur said that the Indian Army established contact with the PLA to help in locating and returning the individual. The spokesperson said the teenager was “captured” across the LAC. A tweet said, “17 yr old youth Miram Tarom of #Zido #ArunachalPradesh was reportedly captured by #PLA across the LAC. On receipt of info, #IndianArmy imdtly contacted #PLA through #hotline. Assistance from #PLA has been sought to locate & return him as per protocol (sic).”

On January 20, China’s foreign ministry said that it was unaware of the incident. However, it stated that the PLA controls the borders and cracks down on “illegal entry and exit activities.”

The Chinese side had earlier informed the Indian government that due process is being followed to hand over the boy to its state. 

On January 26, Kiren Rijiju said that the Chinese PLA responded positively indicating the handing over the boy. 

“Hotline exchanged on Republic Day by Indian Army with Chinese PLA. PLA responded positively indicating handing over of our national and suggested a place of release. They are likely to intimate date and time soon. Delay attributed to bad weather conditions on their side,” he tweeted. 

Meanwhile, the series of events following the boy’s disappearance led to a political skirmish, where Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the Modi government. 

“PM’s cowardly silence is his statement – he doesn’t care,” Gandhi tweeted, adding, “We are with the family of Miram Taron and we will not give up hope. We will not give up.”

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