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Second Indian advisory against Chinese town

world Updated: May 21, 2012 23:27 IST
HT Correspondent

India on Monday issued a second advisory in Beijing warning businessmen to be aware of several aspects before doing business in Yiwu where two Indian businessmen were first abducted last year and subsequently continue to languish in Shanghai following a court case.

The new advisory also indicated that the two Indian traders were being victimised as new cases could be filed against them if possibility arises that the judicial verdict could go in their favour.

Locals had held Shyamsunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja in Yiwu, a trade hub some 300 km from Shanghai, for weeks in December after the company for which the two worked defaulted on the money owed to workers from nearby villages. Indian diplomats had secured their release weeks later and shifted them to Shanghai.

The first Indian advisory in January warned Indian traders and business men from doing business in Yiwu located in Zhejiang province. “They should be aware that when there are trade disputes with Yiwu, the Indian businessmen/traders can be illegally held under detention and mistreated by Chinese businessmen there. Based on experience, there is no guarantee that legal remedies will be readily available,” the January advisory said.

Monday’s second advisory seems to have been issued after Indian officials here felt frustrated at the lack of progress in the case.

“Freedom of movement could be curtailed; if involved in a court dispute, they may need to stay on for extended periods of time, hence requiring substantial funds for boarding and lodging,” the new advisory said in continuation of the earlier one.

It added: “Pressures may be exerted to sign documents under duress; such documents could be used against them in a court of law. Signatures on documents in Chinese language may be obtained under pressure; services of an interpreter should be invariably insisted upon.”

On new cases being filed against them, the advisory said: “If the due process of law seems to be leading towards a judgement in favour of the Indian party, there is a high possibility of fresh cases being lodged in order to exert additional pressure on Indian businessmen.”

It said that the Indian Consulate in Shanghai must be informed of arrival and stay in that area. “Their contact details should be kept handy for emergencies. Phone numbers/contact details of close relatives/ friends /other associates must be kept with them at all times,” the advisory said.