GUWAHATI: Kutjit Taron’s tears have dried up but she does not stop crying for her son, Miram, who was abducted by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on January 18.
The 17-year-old was taken into custody at the fuzzy India-China border in the Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
His mother is inconsolable and has taken ill while the father, Opang Taron, is making desperate pleas to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure the teenager’s release from Chinese hands.
She has virtually stopped eating food and is going through hypertension, a worried Opang told this newspaper on Saturday. He is a farmer and the father of four sons.
“I appeal to PM Modi to bring my son back home. He did not intrude into Chinese territory,” Opang said.
His mobile phone has never been so busy. Not just friends, neighbours and relatives, officials from the district administration and the Army are also calling him frequently to enquire about his and his family members’ well-being.
The incident of abduction occurred when Miram and his friend, Jhonny Yaying, had ventured into a deep forest to hunt wild animals and collect medicinal herbs.
While Miram was nabbed by the Chinese soldiers, Jhonny managed to flee. He reached Tuting, the nearest circle headquarters, the next day and informed the villagers and the authorities of the incident. The two youngsters are from the same village, Zido. The site of the incident is around 35-40 km away.
Opang said he was at Tuting on January 17 when his son had set out for the forest.
“We have a puja in mid-February where, as per a customary practice, my sisters would offer rice cakes and local brew to me and I would give them dry meat. As the meat needs to be dried up before being gifted, Miram had gone out early for the traditional hunting of a wild animal. Usually, during such hunting, medicinal herbs are also collected, if found,” Opang said.
He said Miram, who has never been to that forest before, had dropped out of a Kendriya Vidyalaya when he was in Class VIII. The boy’s two elder brothers help their father in farming while the youngest is a college student.
The Indian Army had contacted the PLA through the hotline and sought assistance “to locate and return the boy as per protocol” but China’s foreign ministry said it was not aware of the incident.