New Delhi: As many as 5,986 Indians are languishing in foreign jails and most of them are in jails across Saudi Arabia, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (retd) V.K.Singh said Thursday. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, he said 71 Indian nationals have completed their sentences and have been waiting for completion of deportation formalities in the foreign jails. Elaborating on the measures taken by the Indian government for effective repatriation of its citizens, Gen. V.K. Singh said the Indian missions located abroad have approached the respective foreign governments for speeding up the process, including issuance of final exit visas, and waiver of penalties imposed on Indian workers from the authorities concerned for the early return of the Indian nationals to India.
The maximum of 1,400 Indian prisoners are lodged in jails across Saudi Arabia, the minister said. A total of 468 Indian nationals are in Pakistani jails, while 985 continue to remain in prisons in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Himalayan neighbour Nepal has 377 Indians in its jails, while Bangladesh has put 128 Indians behind the bars, with 37 others completing their prison terms and awaiting deportation. ”Where required, the Indian missions and posts abroad also provide air tickets for facilitating the return of the Indian prisoners who have completed their sentence to India,” the reply said. The minister said that, according to information provided by the Indian high commission in Islamabad, there are 219 civil prisoners, believed to be Indians, in Pakistani jails. However, Pakistani authorities state that there are 47 civil prisoners believed to be Indians in Pakistani jails, Gen. V.K. Singh said. According to information available with the mission, besides civil prisoners, as of date, there are 249 prisoners in Pakistani jails believed to be Indian fishermen, he stated in his written reply.