About 8,189 Indians were lodged in jail overseas, according to the government data released Wednesday tabulated until May 31, a rise of around 6 percent from last year’s figure of 7,737.
Saudi Arabia is home to the largest number of Indian nationals lodged in foreign prisons, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Nepal.
The data released is the part of a statement by external affairs minister S Jaishankar in the Lok Sabha in response to a question by a Member of Parliament (MP).
Saudi Arabian jails have 1,811 Indian nationals, UAE 1,392, Nepal 1,160, United States 689, and Pakistan 48. In all, six Gulf countries are home to approximately half of all Indians lodged in jails abroad.
Pakistani jails contained 471 Indians last year, meaning the number has dropped steeply in the past year.
“Indian missions and posts abroad remain vigilant and closely monitor the incidents of Indian nationals being put in jail in foreign countries for violation of local laws or alleged violation of local laws,” said the statement.
Many countries do not share information, or provide details of individual cases, because of strong privacy laws, added the statement. The minister’s statement also said that 3,087 Indians received amnesty or commutation of their sentences in the Gulf countries since 2016.
After several incidents of harassment of Indians abroad, the government has asked Indian workers to register with local consular services, and started distributing information to intensify their awareness of local laws, customs and regulations.
By Sowmya Sangam