NEW DELHI: As many as 8,189 Indians are lodged in various prisons in foreign countries, with Saudi Arabia having the highest number, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.
Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that of the total number of Indian prisoners in foreign countries, 4,206 are imprisoned in the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
Saudi Arabia has the highest number of Indian prisoners at 1,811 followed the UAE at 1,392, he said.
The GCC is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
Muraleedharan said India and the UAE signed an agreement in 2011 on Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
It came into force in March 2013.
The agreement, among other things, includes conditions for the transfer of prisoners and obligations to furnish information on them.
But no Indian prisoner from the UAE has been transferred under this agreement till date, he said.
He further said that in October 2018, the government had received a proposal from the Consulate General of India, Dubai, about the transfer of 77 Indian prisoners under the agreement, to serve the remainder of their sentences in India.
"The proposal is being processed by the authorities concerned in the UAE and India in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons between India and UAE," he said in his reply.
In response to another question, Muraleedharan said that since 2016, mortal remains of 14,312 Indian nationals from 125 countries have been brought back till May 31, 2019.