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July 31, 2000
Chinese PoWs languishing in Indian asylum
Two Chinese prisoners taken captive during the 1962 war have been languishing in a mental asylum in the state of Bihar for nearly four decades, reports on Monday said.
Yung Chialung, now 59 years old, and M A Siblong, 62, are housed in Asia's oldest mental asylum, the Central Institute of Psychiatry, at Ranchi with no decision being taken on their future, the Indian Express newspaper said.
Ignored by both Beijing and New Delhi, and despite several summits and discussions after the war, the two remain prisoners of solitude and negligence, not speaking a word to anyone. It is also because they are not familiar with the local language and, therefore, seek solace in each other's company.
Hospital authorities say that ever since Yung was brought to the asylum on December 14, 1962, they have not received any correspondence from either the government or the army about him. Doctors at the CIP say Yung had recovered from a 'mild' attack of schizophrenia in 1963. But since he is a Prisoner of War, there is no one to get him released from the asylum.
Siblong was imprisoned by the Indian Army during the 1962 Indo-China war and later admitted to the asylum. The hospital authorities do not answer questions on their official status and refuse to show any documents about them, the report said.
As they do not understand Hindi or English, the hospital staff 'converses' with them through symbols and gestures. They keep to themselves talking only to each other. They are no longer ill but are entrapped in alien environs with no other place to go.
Couped together, unaware of any developments, the two remain forgotten prisoners of a forgotten war.
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