Visa row: Chinese journalists had met Tibetans in K'taka under fake names

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Bengaluru, July 25: The refusal to renew the visas of three Chinese journalists is turning into a full fledged confrontation. The Chinese media says serious consequences await India. If New Delhi is really taking revenge because of the NSG membership issue, then there will be serious consequences, the Chinese media has said. [Beijing warns India after it refuses to extend 3 Chinese scribes' visas]

However, what the Chinese media is not talking about is the report that was sent from Karnataka to the home ministry in which it was stated that two of these journalists had used fake names while trying to meet with Tibetans at Bylakuppe.

Visa row: China scribes used fake names

Two of the journalists had been intercepted while meeting members of the Tibetan community. What led to the suspicion that is that the journalists were using fake names. The intelligence bureau report also states that the names were different as compared to the ones that were in their identification papers. "By using a fake name, it apprears that they didn't have the right intention," the report states.

Wu Qiang, Tang Lu and She Yonggang, three reporters of the Xinhua media were refused a renewal of their visas. The Chinese media has cried foul, but India maintains that it is silly to connect this to the NSG issue where China had blocked India's entry.

Not a witch hunt

Home Ministry officials say that the decision on the renewal of their visas was taken on the basis of a report from the Intelligence Bureau. "First and foremost the action is not against China. We have made it clear that they are ready to send replacements," officials said.

"The visas had expired four months back. We waited for their replacements to be sent. In fact we had also given them time and even extended their stay on a temporary basis every 15 days," says a home ministry official.

However, there was no sign of a replacement coming in and hence we decided to tell them to leave India by July 31 the officer added.

Officials say that in April the journalists had visited Bengaluru. They had planned on meeting with Tibetans at Bylakuppe which is one of the biggest Tibetan settlements. However, on intercepting them, we found that they were using fake names.

"The names they told us and what was found on the identification papers did not match and hence the IB sent a report to the Home Ministry," an official said.

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