Three Chinese journalists working in India for Xinhua have been asked to leave the country by July 31. The step was taken after "concerns" were flagged by Indian intelligence agencies.

Two of the journalists are Wu Qiang and Lu Tang, who head the Delhi and Mumbai bureaus of Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, while the third is She Yonggang, a Mumbai-based reporter.

They were being watched for several months now and were suspected of impersonating other people and visiting restricted facilities under assumed names, reported The Times of India. Their alleged activities beyond their official work led the authorities to cancel the visas of all three.

However, an Indian official said that the three journalists had overstayed their visa and had also received several visa extensions, which would no longer be possible to give them, reported The Hindu.

Qiang has been staying in India on extended visa for six years while his two colleagues had also been given visa extensions.

Though an exact reason for rejecting the visa renewals was not given, there is speculation that the journalists' recent journey to Bengaluru to meet Tibetan activists may have raised a red flag. 

This decision also comes in the middle of a blow-up between the two countries over China's refusal to allow India to become a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).