A former Chinese soldier, who got married in India in 1974 and returned to his native country for the first time in 2017, is now stuck there for want of return visa to India, his son said on Friday.
Wang Chang Qi (80) was captured by Indian forces in 1963 after the India-China war. Convicted for spying, he was in Indian jails for six years till his release in 1969.
He married a local woman in Tiroda village of Madhya Pradesh in 1974 and settled there, raising a family comprising two sons and two daughters, before visiting his homeland for the first time in 2017, almost 54 years after he first came to India.
Since then, he has made three more visits to China.
His last visit there was in October 2018 and he is now stuck there for want of return visa to India, his son Vishnu Wang (38) said.
“My father first returned to China on February 10, 2017 and came back on May 10, 2017. His second visit to China was in August 2017 and he returned in October 2017 as my mother was sick and died later,” Vishnu said.
“He went to China again in January 2018 and returned in April-May the same year. His fourth visit to China was on October 1, 2018 and he is now stuck there as he hasn’t got his return visa to India,” Vishnu said.
Vishnu said his father has been awaiting visa renewal since April this year to return to his family in India.
Vishnu said his father applied to the Indian embassy in China in April but there was no response. “I have been in communication with Indian officials both in India and China but things aren’t moving,” he said.
Qi was captured by Indian forces in 1963 after he lost his way back to China following the India-China war. Convicted for spying, he remained in Indian jails for six years.
He settled in Tirodi village in naxal-infested Balaghat district, where he worked in a flour mill before starting a grocery shop. In 1974, he married an Indian woman, Sushila, and had four children – two sons and two daughters.
“My father applied for visa with the Indian embassy in Beijing in April this year but was unable to get the same for reasons better known to the authorities, Vishnu told PTI from Tirodi.
“I also tried to contact the Indian embassy in Beijing and my father also went there three times from his home town Xianyang in central Shaanxi province, which is about 1200 km from the Chinese capital, to get visa but didn’t get a satisfactory reply from the authorities, Vishnu said.
Vishnu, who works as an accountant with a private firm, said earlier his father used to get visa, valid for a year, within a fortnight from the date of application.
After the Indo-China war, the former Chinese soldier was spotted in Assam by the Indian Red Cross Society and handed over to the Indian Army on January 1, 1963.
Vishnu said his father then spent six years in prisons in Assam, Ajmer and Delhi before the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered his release in March 1969.
“The Indian government had promised the court that it would rehabilitate my father. He was taken to Delhi, Bhopal, Jabalpur and then finally handed over to Balaghat police,” Vishnu said.
After settling down in Balaghat district, he married Sushila and had four children – two sons and two daughters – from the marriage.
“My elder brother and my mother died and I and my two sisters live in Tirodi. We are anxiously awaiting his return to Tirodi,” Vishnu said.