India to help detained traders


The Indian traders were detained by the anti-smuggling bureau of the Customs Department of Chinese government at Shenzhen in Guangdong province in southern China on January 8 last. They had been charged with illegal transportation of diamonds from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.

Asked if India would seek to provide assistance to the detained traders, Krishna said New Delhi would help them under the existing legal frameworks.
An official from the Indian embassy in Beijing on Wednesday met the traders at a detention centre in Shenzhen.

Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said the detained traders had appeared to be “well looked after. Our embassy in Beijing has sent me a message this morning that one of the officers from Beijing has gone to Shenzhen and he has been given consular access to those who were taken into custody by the Chinese,” said Rao.
The Indian embassy in Beijing had swung into action immediately after the detentions and had sought consular access to the detained traders, in accordance with the provisions in a memorandum of understanding that New Delhi and Beijing had inked in 2003.

Legal process
The foreign secretary said the Indian embassy and the Consulate in Guangzhou were organising legal help for the detained.
She, however, said the legal process was yet to begin. The detention of the Indians followed the detention of three Chinese engineers by police at Korba in Chhattisgarh in connection with the crash of an under-construction chimney that killed 41 workers at the Bharat Aluminium Company Limited plant in September 2009.
DH News Service

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