BEIJING: An Indian is reported among a group of 20 foreign tourists who have been arrested in northern China for suspected links to “a terror group” according to reports by Britain’s Foreign Office and a South African charity.
An Indian embassy spokesman told Reuters he had no information on the matter.
China has agreed to release 11 of the tourists, but the rest will continue to be held without charge at a detention center in Inner Mongolia, the South African charity, Gift of the Givers Foundation, said.
Chinese authorities said some of those arrested had been watching propaganda videos from a banned group in their hotel room, the charity added in its statement.
The group was on a 47-day tour of the country when they were detained at an airport in the Inner Mongolian city of Erdos. Their tour operator realized something had gone “horribly wrong” on Sunday, two days later, the foundation said, when he hadn’t heard from them.
“Consular staff have visited the group to provide assistance and we are liaising with Chinese authorities,” a British Foreign Office spokesman told Reuters.
Chinese law enforcement authorities could not be immediately reached for comment.
“These individuals have no terror links, no criminal record in their country,” said Gift of the Givers, which has negotiated hostage releases.
Several of those detained are relatives of Shameel Joosub, chief executive of telecoms company Vodacom Group Ltd., the charity added.