PLA trying to intimidate tribals living along LAC

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 23 Jan: The news of the abduction of 17-year-old Miram Taron from inside Indian territory in Upper Siang district comes after almost one-and-a-half year since a similar incident was reported from Upper Subansiri district.

In September 2020, PLA troops had abducted five youths from near the McMahon Line in Nacho in Upper Subansiri district. They were released a week later. The Chinese troops handed over the five youths to India near the Kibithu border post in Anjaw district. At that time, too, it was alleged that the youths had been abducted from inside Indian territory.

In recent years, the Chinese have been making aggressive moves along the line of actual control (LAC) which divides the two nations right from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh. Everyone is aware of the bloody clash in Galwan in eastern Ladakh, in which soldiers from both India and China were killed. China claims Arunachal as part of south Tibet. Also, with the issue of the succession of the Dalai Lama heating up, China is expected to focus more on Arunachal in the coming years. It is a known fact that Arunachal has one of the largest Tibetan Buddhism believers, and that the 6th Dalai Lama was born in Tawang.

There are growing attempts on the part of the dragon to try to intimidate Arunachalee tribals living along the LAC by either abducting citizens or by carrying out intrusions into Indian territory. The present-day LAC is a boundary between India and China. The perception of each nation regarding the LAC varies. However, for the tribal people who are living along the LAC since time immemorial, there is absolute clarity and there is no confusion regarding territory. Since their ancestors’ days, the tribal people have lived and hunted in these forests. They know the routes and the territory very well.

It is this knowledge of the tribal people that China seems to have finally figured out, and therefore it is trying to directly intimidate the tribal people living along the LAC. An attempt is being made to keep them away from the border areas. It is a known fact that the people living along the border areas for long have been an important source of information for the military as they are well-acquainted with the areas. The PLA is trying to scare the civilians living along the LAC by directly targeting them through activities like abduction. This is a new trend being witnessed along the Sino-India border in the Arunachal sector.

With hostility between the two nations continuing to rise, in the coming days such incidents might further occur. The state government needs to analyze this new trend and take adequate measures to counter them at the local level. The citizens living along the LAC need to be sensitized to this latest trend. Professional soldiers in a civilized world do not indulge in abduction of citizens of the neighbouring country, but the PLA has been known to act rogue. Therefore, every effort should be made to keep the citizens along the LAC safe and secure.