The Indian government has issued an advisory to all Indians, especially traders, asking them to stay away from China's commodity trading hub Yiwu, in the Zhejiang province, close to Shanghai, after local traders kidnapped two Indian traders and manhandled an Indian diplomat who sought their release.
The diplomat, S Balachandran, and the two traders, Shyamsunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja, were hospitalised after the mob attack and have since been shifted to a hotel for "safety" reasons by the police.
"All people who have business/trade with Yiwu are cautioned against doing business there and all people who do not have business/trade with Yiwu are requested to be careful that they do not do business with Yiwu," the Indian Embassy in Beijing said in an advisory. Indian traders "should be aware that when there are trade disputes with Yiwu, the Indian businessmen/traders could be illegally held under detention and mistreated by Chinese businessmen there," it said.
"Based on experience, there is no guarantee that legal remedies will be readily available. Furthermore, in case of disputes arising, experience suggests that there is inadequate protection for safety of persons," the advisory posted on the embassy's website added.
The two traders were kidnapped by local traders on 15 December because the firm they work for owed the traders money. The owner of the firm, however, has been absconding.
Police in Yiwu shifted Shyamsunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja to a hotel where two policemen were deployed to guard them.
Indian diplomat S Balachandran, who was hospitalised after he fainted in court while trying to negotiate their release on 31 December, was admitted to the hospital and later discharged.
The Indian government has promptly lodged a strong protest with the Chinese authorities.