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Indians prisoners not being discriminated in Britain: Govt

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) As many as 5811 Indians are languishing in various prisons in 48 countries for committing various crimes but those lodged in British jails are not being discriminated, the government informed the Rajya Sabha today.

Responding to Half an hour discussion on 'Discrimination against Indians in British Jails' and 'Negotiations for release of Indians in British Jails' raised by Congress MP Santosh Bargodia, Minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed said that 259 Indians are lodged in British prisons, but the British government and the High Commission here have informed the Indian government that they are not being discriminated against. However, the UK government has said that it could not reveal the identity of prisoners and the crimes that they have committed due to the privacy laws of their country.

He said that the Indian government could not seek release of all the Indian prisoners on the basis of reciprocity in view of the release of a British citizen accused in Purulia arms drop case. He said that the immigration offenders who are kept in shelters could not be termed as normal prisoners.

The minister, however, admitted that Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails complain of discrimination. He said that the Indian government could get released 1179 Indian fishermen from Pakistani jails last year while 95 fishermen got released this year. He said that 905 Indians were languishing in Pakistani prisons in 2005 and 505 in 2006.

Mr Ahamed said that Indian missions are providing legal assistance to Indian people lodged in jails of Gulf countries.

However, these countries have strict rules that no compromise could be made in drug trafficking related cases.

Raising the issue, Mr Bargodia said that the Indian prisoners were facing discrimination in various countries and the government should collect information about them and try to provide them assistance.

UNI AJ VD GC2050

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