The Chinese Army has abducted a 17-year-old boy from Indian territory, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Arunachal Pradesh claimed on Wednesday. Tapir Gao, who represents Arunachal East in the Lok Sabha, said that Miram Taron was abducted from Upper Siang district of the state on Tuesday.

“Chinese #PLA [People’s Liberation Army] has abducted Sh Miram Taron, 17 years of Zido vill.[village] 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 [district], Arunachal Pradesh,” Gao wrote in a tweet.

The MP claimed that Taron’s friend, who had managed to escape from the Chinese Army, had reported the alleged kidnapping to authorities. Gao urged Indian authorities to take steps to release the 17-year-old boy.

The central government has not provided an official response on Gao’s claim yet.

However, unidentified officials in the defence forces told PTI that the Indian Army has asked for assistance from the People’s Liberation Army to locate the missing boy and return him as per established protocol. However, the Army has reportedly not said that Taron had been abducted, as claimed by Gao.

Instead, the Indian Army has informed its Chinese counterpart that an individual could not be traced after he lost his way while collecting herbs and hunting, the sources reportedly said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi criticised the prime minister for not making a statement on the alleged kidnapping.

“An Indian citizen has been kidnapped by China just days ahead of the Republic Day - our thoughts are with the family of Miram Taron and we will not lose hopes or give up,” he wrote in a tweet. “The deathly silence of the prime minister is itself his statement on the matter - he does not care.”

In the past too, Gao has repeatedly raised concerns about Chinese incursion into Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Army had denied his claims when he first mentioned the matter in September 2019. However, he raised the matter in Lok Sabha again in November 2019. In an interview to in June 2020, he mentioned the Upper Subansiri district as one of the areas where the alleged incursions took place.

In January last year, NDTV had reported that China has constructed a new village consisting of 101 homes, approximately 4.5 km within the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh. The village was located along the banks of the River Tsari Chu in the Upper Subansiri district, the news channel had reported.

In November, another set of satellite images showed a cluster of at least 60 buildings, reportedly built by China, about 6 km within India in the region between the Line of Actual Control and the International Boundary.