Notch this up to Genghis Khan too.
The Indian who was held on terror charges in China was picked up after watching a documentary on the life and times of the Mongol conqueror, which Inner Mongolian authorities “mistook” for a “propaganda video”.
On Saturday, Rajiv Mohan Kulshrestha, 48, was deported back to India, after a week in custody. Sources said Kulshrestha is the owner of Prayas Exports Private Limited, which manufactures and sells women’s clothes under the brand name ‘Jamun Tree’. Jamun Tree has outlets in several shopping malls in Delhi and NCR, and has an office in Noida’s Sector 63.
According to sources, Kulshrestha was part of a tourist group of 20 on a visit across China. On July 9, Day 30 of the 47-day trip, they visited the Genghis Khan Mausoleum at Ordos, Inner Mongolia.
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Curious to learn more about Genghis Khan, they later watched a documentary on the great Mongol warrior, a source said. The Inner Mongolian authorities, who were keeping a watch on the foreign tourists, took it for a “propaganda video”.
The 20, who included Britons and South Africans, were arrested at the Ordos airport on July 10, just before they were to board a plane to their next destination, X’ian, the capital of the Shaanxi province and home to the world-famous Terracotta warriors.
They were later charged with terrorist activities. “There was a communication gap between local officials and the tourists,” a source said.
While there was no official word, there has been an intensive crackdown on groups seeking greater rights for ethnic Mongols, and Inner Mongolian officials were possibly suspicious of foreign tourists.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing pursed Kulshrestha’s case to get him released. All the others who were arrested have also been let off in batches.
When The Sunday Express visited Kulshrestha’s home in Vasundhara Enclave in East Delhi on Saturday, the security guards at the apartment complex said there was nobody at the house. Kulshrestha’s wife Rashmi Mohan has been away, the neighbours said.
The Ministry of External Affairs’s official spokesperson, Vikas Swarup, told The Sunday Express, “The Indian citizen who had been detained in China has been permitted to leave for India. Our embassy in Beijing worked proactively to resolve this issue. Last evening, he was brought from Inner Mongolia to Beijing by road. Our embassy officials were granted consular access and had a meeting with him. And in the early hours of this morning, he was permitted to depart from Beijing. Embassy officials were at the airport at the time of departure.”
Indian Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha told PTI in Beijing that the Indian Embassy has sought details from China about the circumstances in which Kulshrestha was detained.
The itinerary of the 47-day deluxe trip that Kulshrestha took, organised by a Chinese tour operator called China Odyssey Tours, included all the main tourist attractions of the country, including the Yangtze river, Shaolin temple, the Great Wall, the terracotta warriors and horses in X’ian and Tiananmen Square.
Till the abrupt end.