fifty years ago June 15, 1967 Archive

Indian diplomats humiliated at Peking airport

Red Guards beat and kicked two Indian diplomats in wild scenes at Peking airport to-day [June 14] before they left by air for Hongkong after being expelled from China accused of spying. The Second Secretary Mr Krishnan Raghunath and the Third Secretary, Mr. P. Vijay were dragged and pushed, held by the neck and arms among a crowd of Red Guards several hundred strong. They were punched and kicked and Red Guards waved red books of Mao Tse-tung’s quotations at them. Other Indian diplomats were hit and Third Secretary, C.V. Ranganathan was made to bow his head by the crowd who tried to force him to kneel on the runway. Embassy staff who tried to go to the aid of the two expelled, diplomats were manhandled and kept away.

The cars of Indian diplomats outside the airport were smothered with paint and posters. Mr. Raghunath (27) who was sentenced to “immediate deportation” by a people’s court attended by 15,000 people yesterday [June 14], was seized by the Red Guards and separated from other members of the Embassy soon after arrival at the airport at about six a.m. local time. Mr. Vijay was grabbed shortly afterwards and from then until the plane departed around 7 a.m. and the two diplomats were in the hands of crowds. Mr. Vijay was dragged by the neck and arms past a group of Western diplomats and foreign correspondents with his head forced down near to the ground. His shoes had been torn off and he was in stocking feet. Looking ashen-faced he was dragged around for several minutes, often lost to view in the milling crowds.

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