NEW DELHI: Latest data from NCRB shows West Bengal has the highest number of foreign prison inmates in the country and most of them are Bangladeshis.
In Bengal, which will go to polls in 2021, this data could to turn into a hot potato as illegal immigration of Bangladeshis is set to be a major political issue.
According to the crime and prison statistics report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2017, highest percentage of foreign prisoners countrywide, both convicts (63%) and undertrials (38.6%) were of Bangladeshis.
Data shows a slight decline of 1.1% in the number of foreign prisoners in 2017 compared to the previous year. There were 4,917 foreign prisoners lodged in India 2017 compared to 6,370 and 6,620 in 2016 and 2015, respectively.
Bengal has reported the highest number of foreign-convicts lodged in its jails, accounting for 61.9% of the total foreigner convicts. The state also reported the highest number of foreigner undertrials lodged in jails, accounting for 25.6% of such prisoners. Data showed 1,379 convicts and 576 undertrials were lodged in the jails of Bengal, where the BJP-led central government wants to conduct athe exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC) for “throwing out infiltrators”.
Of the total foreign national prisoners, 45.3%, i.e., 2,227 were convicts, 45.8% (2,250) were undertrials and 40, which come to 0.8% were detenues. The report states there were 400 other foreigners lodged in various jails accounting for 8.1% of total foreign national prisoners.
Among the foreign convicts, 1,403 or 63% were from Bangladesh, followed by Nepal which had 283 convicts accounting for 12.7% of the total number of such convicts. Myanmar had 125 convicts, accounting for about 5.6% of the total number.
Among the foreign undertrial prisoners, 38.6% (869)were from Bangladesh, followed by Nigeria (19.7%, 444) and Nepal (17.8%, 400).