Narendra Modi’s China visit started showing results
Judgment in case of 22 Indians, mostly Gujaratis languishing in Chinese jail delivered today :
13 persons freed, 9 to serve 3–6 years in prisonNew Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s diplomatic efforts and statesmanship shown during his China visit has resulted in a great relief to 22 Indian diamond traders, mostly from Surat and Mumbai, arrested in China since January, 2010 without any hope, allegedlyfor smuggling diamonds. The efforts made so far for their release, had not yielded any results. However, after Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi took up the matter with Chinese authorities, the case was expedited and judgment delivered today.
As per judgment passed today, 11 persons have been found innocent and to be deported within 15 days from China. Out of the remaining 11 persons, one person has been given 1 year and 11 month sentence and another person 2 years in prison, which means they will also be freed soon as they have already spent about two year in prison. Other 6 persons have been have been given 3 years prison sentence, another 2 persons have been awarded 5 years prison sentence and one person has been given 6 years in prison. Keeping in view the prison sentence given to an Australian national of 14 years, the Indians have been given lighter sentences.
During his last month visit to China, Shri Narendra Modi raised the issue with top Chinese leadership and apprised them of the plight of the 22 Indians mostly from Gujarat, languishing in Chinese jail. He brought the concern of their families to the notice of Chinese leadership. The Chinese leadership has attached great importance to the visit of Shri Narendra Modi and was keen to make the visit a grand success. During the high level meetings, it is understood that top Chinese leadership promised the Chief Minister to take up the matter on priority in view of the request made by the Chief Minister and its friendly ties with India and particularly with Gujarat State. The Chinese authorities assured the Gujarat Chief Minister that the pending trial of the case will be expedited and judgment will be delivered soon. These 22 Indians have been in Chinese jail for almost two years.
Keeping in view the importance of the visit, Indian officials had also requested the Chief Minister to take up the matter with the top Chinese leadership. After Chief Minister, Narendra Modi’s intervention, the case has been taken by the Chinese authority on priority. As a first step, immediately after the visit, Chinese authorities allowed the Indian Ambassador to China Dr. S. Jaishankar and Counsel General, Guangzhou Mr. Indramani Pandey to meet these 22 detainees in jail.
Prior to his visit to China, some relatives of detainees urged Shri Narendra Modi to take up this issue with the Chinese Government. They had also requested Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court for lenient and sympathetic judgment. The diamond traders, mostly Gujaratis, were arrested by Shenzhen customs officials for allegedly smuggling diamonds from Hong Kong to China on January 8, 2010. Shenzhen is a major city in China's Guangdong province close to Hong Kong.
Chief Minister asked his officers to follow up the matter. He has been quite concerned about the health of these young people in the Chinese jail and from time to time enquired about their health. Many of them also developed high blood pressure and their health started deteriorating. These young Indians are vegetarian and were lodged in Chinese jail without much hope and therefore started falling sick. They were in a hopeless situation. He had requested the Indian Ambassador and Consul General to take care of their welfare. The matter was regularly followed up with MEA authorities and Indian Embassy in China.
After being informed of the latest development in the matter Shri Narendra Modi said “During my visit to China in November, I took up the case of 22 Indian youth, who are lodged in Chinese jail, before the Chinese leadership purely on humanitarian ground. I emphasized that Indian nationals languishing in Chinese jail since last two years should be given speedy trial and they should get justice. I am thankful to the Chinese Government for expediting the trial and ensuring that judgment is delivered today.”