India on Monday lodged a strong protest with China over “ill-treatment” meted out to a Shanghai-based diplomat, who collapsed after he was denied access to food and had to be hospitalised.
A diabetic, S Balachandran, who was in Yiwu city on December 31 offering consular access to two Indian traders, fainted after he was not allowed to move out of the courtrooom until the end of a seven-hour hearing, Indian officials said.
“We have taken up the issue strongly. This is not the way a diplomat, who has a medical history, should be treated,” an Indian official told HT.
The ministry of external affairs Monday summoned Chinese deputy chief of mission Zhang Yue and registered a strong protest. Indian embassy in Beijing, too, took up the issue with the Chinese foreign ministry.
China has assured to look into the incident. The ministry has denied reports that the diplomat was manhandled by a mob in the court.
Balachandran, 46, was taken to the local hospital in an ambulance and is improving.
He was trying to secure the release of Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agrawal held hostage by local traders for two weeks over non-payment of dues by their company, Euro Global Trading.
Their frantic families have been calling up the consulate in Shanghai for help.
Both the men come from Mumbai but Agrawal’s family is based in Dubai. The owner, believed to be a Yemeni or a Pakistani national, is said to have fled the country.
A small city in Zhejiang province, Yiwu is known for manufacturing and a commodities wholesale market. More than 100 Indian traders live there but many more visit the city for business.