All the five men reached the Indian side in the afternoon after they were handed over by the Chinese army this morning

China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) on Saturday handed over five Indian men, who went missing from their villages in Arunachal Pradesh earlier this month.

The men reached the Indian side and entered Arunachal Pradesh through Kibithu border post in the afternoon.

“China’s PLA has handed over our 5 boys to our side here at Kibitu area. I appreciate Indian Army for the smooth return of our citizens. I thank Indian Army Chief, his office and the local commanders for constantly following up the matter and regularly updating me on the matter,” Union Minister Kiran Rijiju said in his tweet.

In another tweet, Rijiju said, “All the 5 Indian youths from Arunachal Pradesh who were received at Kibithu by our Army from PLA are fit and fine. However, they will be quarantined for a specific period. I also thank Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh ji for the concern he had shown.”

“As a result of persistent efforts of Indian Army, five missing hunters from Indian side of LAC in Upper Subansiri, who had inadvertently crossed over to the other side on 2 September 2020, were traced. Chinese Army on September 8 responded on the hotline and confirmed that the missing Indians have been found on their side,” the Indian Army said.

The army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police use locals as porters, guides, and scouts during Long-range patrols (LRPs) as they need help from porters to carry supplies at all strategic points along the McMahon Line, the effective border between India and China.

India and China have been under a military stand-off in eastern Ladakh since May, when PLA intruded into the Indian territory. Several rounds of dialogue have been held since then but the Chinese side has only partially withdrawn from the Galwan Valley.