China's People's Liberation Army will hand over the five Arunachal Pradesh men, who went missing earlier this month, to India on September 12, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has tweeted.
"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," he tweeted.
The five men who had been missing since September 2 were hunters, the army had said in a statement. However, the locals have claimed that they were porters.
The men had gone missing from Sera-7 on the Indian side of the McMohan line bifurcating Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet autonomous region (TAR) of China.
Following their disappearance, a brother of one of the youths took to social media claiming that they had been 'abducted' by PLA. Similar claims were made by Tapir Gao, BJP MP from Arunachal East and Congress MLA from Pasighat Ninong Ering in their tweets.
Earlier this week, the Chinese Army had confirmed their presence in the country.
"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 other side on 2 September 2020, were traced. Chinese Army on September 8 responded on hotline and confirmed that the missing Indians have been found on their side," the Army had said in a statement.
On Monday, China's mouthpiece Global Times tweeted quoting Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian: "China has never recognised so called 'Arunachal Pradesh', which is China's south Tibet region, and we have no details to release yet about question on Indian Army sending message to PLA about five missing Indians in the region".