A total of 622 Indian fishermen are lodged in foreign jails, including 574 in Pakistan, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
In a written reply to a question in the Upper House, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the length of time Indian fishermen spend as undertrials in foreign jails and their terms of imprisonment differ from country to country and depend on several factors, including local laws and charges imposed on them by the local courts.
The minister said the total number of Indian fishermen lodged in foreign jails is 622 — 574 in Pakistan, 26 in Bangladesh, four in Bahrain, and 18 in Saudi Arabia.
He said the government attaches high priority to the safety, security, and welfare of the fishermen.
To another question on the Vande Bharat Mission, Muraleedharan said 1,89,71,258 people had traveled under the mission till October 30, 2021.
“The operations under the Vande Bharat Mission were both commercial and non-commercial operations. The government through Indian Missions and Posts abroad assisted the distressed and stranded Indians from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF),” he said.
The total expenditure incurred for assisting more than 1,66,000 Indian nationals abroad, including for repatriation and evacuation, was Rs 40.82 crore, he added.
In a written reply to another question, Muraleedharan said according to the information available, 6,08,162 Indian citizens have relinquished their citizenship and acquired foreign citizenship since 2017.
He said the individuals relinquished Indian citizenship for personal reasons.