Seven in every 10 prisoners of foreign-origin in Indian jails at the end of 2020 were under-trials, with nearly half of such inmates being from Bangladesh, according to data released by the government. The recently released annual ‘Prison Statistics India 2020’ of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows there were 4,926 foreigners lodged in jails of the country in 2020, as against 5,203 in 2019 and 5,157 in 2018.
The number of Indian prison inmates in the country stood at 4.83 lakh by the end of 2020, stated the NCRB, which functions under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
“Among 4,926 prisoners of foreign nationality at the end of 2020, 4,135 were males and 791 were females. Among these foreign national prisoners, 23.1 per cent (1,140 inmates) were convicts, 70.4 per cent (3,467 inmates) were under-trials and 0.8 per cent (41 inmates) were detenues,” the report showed.
“Among the foreign convicts, the highest number of foreign convicts were from Bangladesh (46.4 per cent, 529 convicts) followed by Nepal (18.1 per cent, 206 convicts), Nigeria (8.2 per cent, 94 convicts) and Myanmar (7.3 per cent, 83 convicts) at the end of 2020,” it noted.
According to the NCRB, West Bengal has reported the highest number of foreign convicts lodged in its jails at 466 (40.9 per cent) followed by Uttar Pradesh with 127 (11.1 per cent) and Delhi with 73 (6.4 per cent) at the end of 2020. “Among the foreign under-trials, the highest number was from Bangladesh (47 per cent, 1,630) followed by Nigeria (17.7 per cent, 615) and Nepal (13.4 per cent, 463),” the report showed.
West Bengal has reported the highest number of foreign under-trials lodged in its jails at 1,295 (37.4 per cent), followed by Delhi with 400 (11.5 per cent) and Maharashtra with 380 (11 per cent) at the end of 2020, it stated.
The NCRB noted that the percentage share of foreign prisoners out of total prisoners has decreased from 1.1 per cent in 2019 to one per cent in 2020 (as on December 31 of each year)