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A Chinese woman named Song Xiaolan detained in India will be repatriated. Is she a spy?

A Chinese woman named Song Xiaolan detained in India will be repatriated. Is she a spy? thumbnail

Indian police tracked down a Chinese woman on Thursday (December 29) in Gaya, a Buddhist pilgrim centre in the eastern state of Bihar. She was believed to be a “Chinese spy” and a potential threat to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. 

The local police had released a sketch of the woman, who was identified as Song Xiaolan. Her presence at the Buddhist pilgrim town of Bodh Gaya sparked security concerns as the arrest coincided with Dalai Lama’s Bodh Gaya visit. 

However, intelligence officers probed her and didn’t find any evidence linking her to alleged espionage, a senior Bihar police officer said on Thursday evening as per media reports. 

Bihar’s additional director general (headquarters) Jitendra Singh Gangwar said, “There is no evidence to indicate that she was a spy”. 

Harpreet Kaur, who is the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Gaya told the news agency PTI that the foreign national was picked up from a guest house. After the initial probe, she turned out to be an ardent follower of the Buddhist preacher. 

Previously, it was reported that Song was plotting to harm the Tibetan spiritual leader, with Kaur stating that suspicion of her being a “Chinese spy” can’t be ruled out. 

As quoted, Kaur now said, “A search was launched for her after an intimation from the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office at Kolkata that she had violated visa norms that allowed her to stay for not more than 90 days at a stretch.” 

Kaur added that the Chinse woman has been in India since October 2019. She went to Nepal in January 2020 for four days and upon return to India and settled in McLeod Ganj—a suburb of Dharamshala in the Kangra district of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. 

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The SSP added, “She was accompanied by another woman from Nepal whom she had met in Dharamshala. The Nepalese woman has also been taken into custody for interrogation”. 

The police officer then confirmed that the Chinese national’s visa has been cancelled by FRRO and she has been slapped with a “Leave India” notice. Song will be sent to the Indian capital New Delhi for repatriation. 

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