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Indian traders on hunger strike in China


Beijing, Mar 28: Two Indians, who were freed from illegal custody of Chinese traders three months ago, today went on a hunger strike in Shanghai, demanding that they be allowed to go home within a week failing which they will commit suicide.

In the emails sent to the media on the eve of the BRICS summit in New Delhi attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Deepak Raheja and Shyam Sunder Agrawal threatened to commit suicide one after another if they were not sent back to India within a week. They told PTI from Shanghai over phone that they have been asked by the hotel where they are staying to vacate it last night due to non-payment of dues.

The Indian government which has been paying them maintenance allowance earlier has stopped it and they had no money to pay, they said. "Right now we are on the roads and we have no money. We have no other option to resort to these extreme steps," said Raheja, who is an Indian settled in Dubai.

The two, who claims to be the employees of trading firm in China's trade hub Yiwu, were released from the illegal custody with the help of the Indian officials on January 4. They were taken into custody last December by the Chinese traders after the owner of the firm fled along with his Indian associate without paying USD 1.5 million outstanding dues. The duo were held in custody for about 15 days by the local traders. They were subsequently released after the Indian government intervention and kept in Shanghai as they were required to prove their claim that they were only employees not partners of the company. Their travel documents have been seized by the Chinese court.


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