Beijing/New Delhi: In an ugly incident, an Indian diplomat based in Shanghai was "manhandled" in a court while two others compatriots were tortured and detained, prompting India to lodge a strong protest with the Chinese government.

46-year-old S Balachandran was in the court in connection with the hearing of a case related to the detention of two Indians by locals in the eastern business hub of Yiwu for alleged non-payment of dues by their company, whose owner had allegedly fled the country.

The situation turned ugly when Balachandran, Consul of the Indian Consulate in Shanghai, was leaving the court after prolonged negotiations on the night of December 31 with regard to the release of Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agrawal.

The diplomat, a diabetic, fainted after being "manhandled" and had to be rushed to a hospital in Shanghai.The incident led to strong protest from India.

A 'note verbale' (protest note) was handed over to the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday by Indian Embassy officials calling for action on both the issues, sources at the Embassy said here.

The issue of "manhandling" figured in the note, which also mentioned "torture and detention" of the two Indians by local traders, they said.

The note requested the Chinese government to take "follow up action" with the local officials of Yiwu, a trade hub near Shanghai.

In New Delhi, Zhang Yue, Deputy Chief of Chinese Embassy, was summoned by the External Affairs Ministry and told that this was not the way to treat a diplomat.