Trader duo left in the cold in China
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Both had been sleeping on the streets in the intense cold, landing Raheja in hospital last week. Agrawal is spending his days in the hospital lobby. They have no money or anyone to help them. Agrawal said they had not received any monetary help from the Indian government. Even their lawyer has refused to take their case forward unless the fee is paid.
On December 14, 2011, Agrawal and Raheja who were employed by Euro Global Trading were taken hostage by angry Chinese traders. Their employer had fled China, leaving dues running into millions of Yuan to be paid to local traders.
The Chinese traders kept Agrawal and Raheja captive in a warehouse in Yiwu city and allegedly assaulting them every day till the Indian government intervened.
It was during the negotiations to get them released that Indian diplomat S Balachandran was attacked by Chinese traders on the premises of a Chinese court on December 31 last year. He had to be hospitalised. Agrawal and Raheja were rescued from the traders' captivity days later, but after that they have been fending for themselves.
Agrawal and Raheja moved to Guangzhou around 200 km from Hong Kong where they work as daily wage labourers. They are unable to leave China with the case pending but Raheja was allowed to visit India for a month for his father's funeral.
"We had to sleep on the streets and the cold is increasing by the day. Raheja could not take it and collapsed earlier this week. I had to rush him to a Red Cross hospital in Guangzhou. I have since then been staying in the hospital lobby. Food is a luxury available only when strangers take pity on me and offer me whatever they feel like," Agrawal said on phone.
In Mumbai, Agrawal's family is in no better shape, having run out of money. They are now running out of hope. Agrawal's wife Jyoti, speaking about her husband's colleague said Raheja returning to China after he was allowed to return was foolish.
Jyoti said, "What was the use of Raheja showing such courage when our government itself is not interested?"
The court case against them has reached a stalemate with their lawyer refusing to work until he is paid his fee. Agrawal alleged that he had not been paid by the Indian government at all.
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