Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Minister for External Affairs S.M. Krishna on Wednesday declined to see any link between the detention in China of 21 Indians on the charge of diamond smuggling and those of Chinese engineers in Chhattisgarh after an industrial accident last year that killed 41 workers.

Mr. Krishna said perceiving any link between the detention of Indians and the arrest of three Chinese in India amounted to speculation.

“Whatever we say it will be speculative. Let’s not indulge in that game of speculation. There is a legal framework within which we will have to help these 21 merchants or Indian nationals,” he said.

“Well looked after”

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the detained Indians were being well looked after. The Indian mission was helping them and arranging for their legal assistance.

Ms. Rao also did not want to speculate. She pointed out that the legal process was yet to begin and India had noted the Chinese gesture of giving consular access to the detained Indians.