Rahul Gandhi targets PM after Chinese army 'abducts' Arunachal teen
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday slammed the government for neglecting the alleged kidnapping of a teenager, Miram Taron, from Arunachal Pradesh by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). Taron was allegedly abducted by the Chinese army on Tuesday. "A few days before Republic Day, a young future of India is kidnapped by China," tweeted Gandhi, "We are with the family of Miram Taron."
Why does this story matter?
Gandhi's statement comes a day after Arunachal (East) MP Tapir Gao said the PLA kidnapped the boy from the Lungta Jor area of the northeastern state. Incidentally, the Indian Army and China's PLA have been locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since 2020. China's hand has been alleged in several past cases of the kidnapping of Indian nationals from border areas.
'PM doesn't care': Rahul Gandhi
How did the incident come to light?
Taron was kidnapped from Zido village in the Upper Siang district, inside Indian territory, tweeted Gao. "All the agencies of Govt of India is requested to step up for his early release (sic)," he tweeted, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Union Ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh. Taron's friend Johny Yaiying managed to flee and alerted authorities about the kidnapping, Gao told PTI.
Where did the incident happen?
Taron and Yaiying are both native Zido village hunters. According to Gao, the incident occurred near the point where the Tsangpo River enters India in Arunachal Pradesh, where it is known as Siang. In Assam, it is known as the Brahmaputra.
Previous instances of kidnapping by PLA
In September 2020, the PLA allegedly abducted five youngsters from the Upper Subansiri district. They were freed a week later after the Indian Army reached out to China. In March 2020 as well, the Chinese army allegedly kidnapped a 21-year-old from the same region. He was freed following the Indian Army's intervention. These incidents have prompted the name "noisy neighbor" for China.
India slams China over 'illegal bridge' across Pangong
Earlier in January, India slammed China for constructing a bridge across the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed that the government is closely monitoring the situation. "India has never accepted such illegal occupation and the government has been taking all necessary steps to ensure our security interests are fully protected," said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as 'south Tibet'
Last month, China declared standardized names for 15 locations in Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims as "South Tibet." "This is not the first time China has attempted such a renaming of places in the state of Arunachal Pradesh," said Bagchi, adding that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. In 2017, China had released standardized names for six places in the state.
India-China military standoff
Since May 2020, India and China have been involved in a military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The conflict also turned fatal as the two forces clashed in Galwan Valley in June that year. Several rounds of discussions between the two countries have failed to bring a complete and permanent resolution.