At Least 7,620 Indian Prisoners In Foreign Prisons; Government Lacks Details Of Most Of Them
New Delhi: The government told Parliament that around 7,620 Indians are suffering in different foreign prisons for their alleged criminal offences. More so, the data submitted in the House about the Indian prisoners in over 80 countries was incomplete, as it lacked details about them in all cases.
It was Saudi Arabia that had the highest number of Indian prisoners: 2,084. It is followed by the United Arab Emirates with 1,376 Indians.
Explaining why the number was huge in Saudi, the Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said that Indians were jailed on allegations of drinking alcohol, bribery, financial fraud, and burglary.
The Indian government lacked personal particulars of the Indians that were jailed.
Strong privacy laws in many countries prevent the local authorities from sharing information on prisoners, unless the person concerned consents to disclosure of such information, said Akbar, answering to a question in the Lok Sabha this week.
Nepal has 859 Indians lodged in its prisons for offences like narcotics, smuggling, theft, and murder. Kuwait has nearly 488 Indians in its jails on charges of murder and drug smuggling.
Pakistan has 467 Indians lodged in its prisons on various offences under the Pakistan Army Act, Official Secret Act, Foreigners Act, Entry Pakistan Act, among many others. The minister said that 416 of these are believed to be fishermen to whom consular access has not been provided yet.
However, Pakistan shared details of these prisoners. Around 51 of 467 were civil prisoners from various parts of India.
Even the UK has jailed 376 Indians, but details were not shared.
Malaysia and the United States of America have 304 and 279 Indians in their prisons, respectively. Akbar added that Qatar has 177 Indians in its prisons, while Singapore has 133 and Germany jailed 114 Indians.
Countries like Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Senegal, Peru, Zambia, Libya, and Kyrgyzstan have only one Indian prisoner each.
The human rights activists and lawyers expressed shock and concern over the government not having details of all Indians in foreign prisons.