NEW DELHI: After India pressed Beijing for more action on the plight of Indian traders, the two trapped Indian businessmen, Shyamsunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja, finally left the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, with the Chinese ambassador assuring that it attached “great importance” to the safety of Indian nationals.
“The two businessmen will be reaching Shanghai soon. They are out of Yiwu and on their way to Shanghai,” External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said after meeting Chinese envoy Zhang Yan to discuss the issue of the two traders, who hail from Mumbai.
The two traders claimed that they had been kidnapped by local Chinese traders and “tortured” since December, as the owner of their company, a Yemeni national, had decamped without paying dues, running into thousands of dollars.
They had been trapped in a hotel in Yiwu, known for its small commodities market, with their kidnappers keeping guard outside. Reports from China on Wednesday said that a case had been registered against five Chinese nationals for illegally detaining the two Indians.
Krishna said both the countries agreed that the safety of the two Indian nationals was of “utmost importance”. “The Chinese ambassador agrees with me totally and said it is also the concern of the Chinese government that the safety of every Indian in China, particularly these two Indian nationals, is of utmost importance to them also.”
The Indian traders had been escorted by Chinese police out of their hotel in Yiwu, and were being taken to the Indian consulate in Shanghai. On being asked on when the two will be back in India, Krishna said: “Our consular officers met with them; they will perhaps work out the details, but let us not forget that there is a civil litigation against them and we will have to take that into consideration.”