About 11,500 Indians in jails of Gulf countries

New Delhi: About 11,500 Indians are languishing in the prisons of United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia over the past three years for various offences, including violation of national frontiers of these countries, the government said on Thursday.

According to a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Union minister of state for overseas Indian affairs VK Singh said 4,615 Indians are lodged in the prisons of Saudi Arabia while the UAE has 6,653 Indians in its jails.

Oman and Qatar have 454 and 187 Indians respectively. Of these, 99 and 88 people were released from Oman and Qatar respectively after the efforts taken by Indians missions there.

The United Kingdom has nearly 1,467 Indians in its jails while Singapore and Malaysia have over 450 and 294 countrymen respectively lodged its prisons. The UK has released 90 Indian prisoners.

The data covers the period of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 (until July).

In India’s neighbouring countries, about 996 countrymen are languishing in Nepalese jails, 275 in Bhutan and 126 in Myanmar for various offences over the past three years.

China and Maldives have 25 and 39 Indians lodged in its jail respectively.

As per the information provided by the MEA with regard to Pakistan, the number of Indians lodged in the neighbouring country’s jails as on June 2015 was 407.

“Further 185 fishermen and six others prisoners were released in 2014, and 285 fishermen and three other prisoners were released in 2015. As per unconfirmed estimates there are 74 missing prisoners of war still in Pakistani jails whose presence is not confirmed,” according to the reply.