Adding a new twist to the saga of two Indian businessmen being detained and allegedly tortured in China's Yiwu trading hub, a Chinese daily known for its pro-government stance has alleged that an Indian diplomat who was allegedly mistreated while trying to free the traders was actually caught trying to sneak them out.
The Global Times claims that Indian diplomat S Balachandran who fainted in a Shanghai court on Saturday after six hours of detention, tried to "secretly" take away the two detained Indian nationals under the pretence of going to the toilet.
Accusing the Indian media and authorities of overblowing the incident, it says Balachandran was never mistreated or denied food, and ''no injuries actually happened''.
''During the interval at the hearing, the diplomat planned to take away the two Indians secretly under the pretence of going to the toilet. But they were stopped by suppliers at the court's exit,'' the report said.
The two traders, Shyamsunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja, are back in India, away from irate Chinese workers in Yiwu in eastern China, but have left in their track a long trail of controversy.
The story gave more examples where Indians were suspected of absconding with money from Yiwu, the biggest commodities and small merchandise market in China.
''In early December, an Indian citizen fled to India without paying 16 million yuan to 145 goods suppliers in Yiwu. In another case, two Indians took away goods valued at 2.8 million yuan without payment,'' the report added.
The newspaper, quoting the Overseas Chinese and Foreign Affairs office of Yiwu, added that the city has attracted about 130,000 foreign businessmen, including 5,000 from South Korea and over 100 from India.