Krishna assures help to Indian traders in China

Beijing: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today assured two Indian traders, trapped in a financial dispute with local businessmen in the commodity hub of Yiwu, that he would take up their case with his Chinese counterpart on Thursday. Krishna, who is here to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), met Shyam Sunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja the two Indian traders who were released from illegal custody from the Chinese suppliers in Yiwu after India`s intervention.

"I had a good meeting with the two traders," Krishan told the Indian media here today. "I told them (traders) I will be meeting the Chinese foreign minister (Yang Jeichi) on Thursday. I certainly will take up the issue with him," Krishna said. Krishna has already discussed the case few times with Yang twice in the recent past. Together, the two Indians have been asked to pay 10 million yuan (USD 1.5 million) to local traders. China has told India that cases against the two Indian would not be withdrawn until they repay the entire amount.

Both claim that they were the employees of a company run by a Yamanese national in the Chinese commodity trade hub Yiwu. The local traders took them into custody in December last after their owner fled without making payment for the supplies secured. The two resided in Shanghai after their release in January and cannot go back to India due to travel ban. They came to Beijing today just to meet Krishna. They say they have paid RMB nine lakhs to their captors and cannot pay any more. They are currently defending a case filed against them in the local court.

Reacting to their meeting Raheja told PTI that they have explained their difficulties to the minister and expressed their concern over a second case filed against them four month after the first case. He said they would meet Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar on Thursday to discuss their future course of action after Krishna`s meeting with Yang.