Ex-Chinese soldier awaits return to family in MP village


Bhopal: A former Chinese soldier, whose children live in a Madhya Pradesh village, went to his native country 11 months ago but is stuck there for want of return visa to India, his son said on Friday.

For the past five months, Wang Chang Qi (80), has been awaiting visa renewal to return to his family in Tirodi village, his son Vishnu Wang (38) said.

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 briefly settled in Tirodi village in naxal-infested Balaghat district, where he worked in a flour mill before starting a grocery shop. 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 this was his father’s fourth visit to China. He said earlier his father used to get visa, valid for a year, within a fortnight from the date of application.

However, after his latest visit to China in October last year, it is taking a lot of time, Vishnu said.

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. (PTI)