Five men who went missing from forest area under Nacho in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh were handed over to the Indian Army by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on September 12.

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PLA handed over the five men to the Indian counterpart near Kibitu in the Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh. Army officials said that the five persons will have to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols and after completion of the same, they will be able to go to their village.

“Arunachal Pradesh is known for its rich natural heritage and adventurous people fond of exploring the nature for medicinal herbs and possessing traditional flair for hunting which involves surviving off the land for weeks in jungles and far-flung remote areas. During such adventurous forays, at times youth have inadvertently strayed to other side of LAC. Indian Army has always been proactive in tracing the lost locals and helping them return home. Three such incidents took place in the current year in Upper Subansiri and West Siang districts including the latest one. All such individuals were brought back home safely after consistent efforts and coordination by Indian Army in the past,” a statement from the Army said on September 12.

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“In the latest case, five individuals from Upper Subansiri district had also inadvertently strayed across LAC recently. Indian Army approached PLA on hotline to trace and return them. On September 8, response on the hotline confirmed that the missing individuals had been traced,” the statement added.

Indian Army received the five individuals at Kibitu on September 12 after completing all the formalities.

Earlier, Union minister and Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh, Kiren Rijiju on September 11 informed that the Chinese PLA has confirmed to the Indian Army that the 5 men will be handed over to the India on September 12.

“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,” the minister informed through a tweet.

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