The Central government has informed the Rajya Sabha about the number of Indian citizens jailed in foreign countries for various criminal offences.
Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan, in response to an unstarred question asked in the Upper House, said a total of 7,139 Indian citizens are lodged in foreign jails.
The government is providing them with legal options and other assistance through its embassies.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, Kirori Lal Meena, had sought information about the Indian citizens lodged in jails in Pakistan, Gulf countries and other countries.
He also asked a question about what kind of assistance is being provided to the Indian prisoners by the Central government.
Muraleedharan said that as of December 31, 2020, the number of Indian prisoners languishing in foreign jails is 7,139. The maximum number, 1,599, are serving jail terms in Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, 265 people are jailed in the US, 898 in the United Arab Emirates, 411 in Qatar, 886 in Nepal, 536 in Kuwait and 221 in Italy. There are 62 Indians serving jail terms in Pakistan.
The Minister said that due to the strong privacy rules in many countries, no information is being given regarding the prisoners until the person concerned gives his consent.
He said Indian missions abroad are vigilant and monitor Indian citizens in foreign jails.
The Indian prisoners are provided with legal aid. Apart from this, the Central government also tries to get their sentences reduced.