16 Pakistan nationals in Amritsar central jail: Centre to high court | punjab | Hindustan Times
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16 Pakistan nationals in Amritsar central jail: Centre to high court

Additional solicitor general Satya Pal Jain, during the resumed hearing of a petition initiated by the court to monitor welfare schemes for prisoners, said that a total of 38 foreign nationals were lodged in Amritsar central jail.

punjab Updated: Jul 13, 2017 09:10 IST
HT Correspondent
Amritsar Central Jail
Amritsar Central Jail(HT File Photo)

The Centre on Wednesday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that 16 prisoners lodged in Amritsar central jail are Pakistan nationals, but the neighbouring country is disputing their nationality.

Additional solicitor general Satya Pal Jain, during the resumed hearing of a petition initiated by the court to monitor welfare schemes for prisoners, said that a total of 38 foreign nationals were lodged in Amritsar central jail.

Out of them 16 have been sent back to their countries whereas two have died, he said and added that of the remaining 20, 16 are Pakistan nationals, two from Bangladesh and one each from Nepal and Myanmar.

He said the matter was taken up with Pakistan, but the latter has denied that these persons are its nationals.

The court while adjourning the matter directed the Centre to have a mechanism to establish identities of foreign nationals in different jails so that they can be sent back on completion of their terms.

The Centre’s response had come after a 2016 order of high court seeking details about nationalities of various prisoners after the Punjab government told the court that nearly 38 foreign nationals, who have completed their sentences were either in jails or in transit camps as they could not be released without prior permission from the central government.

The Centre’s nod is necessary for release of foreign nationals, but it was not responding to state’s letters on the issue.

‘NANAK SINGH NOT IN PAK’s KOT LAKHPAT JAIL’

Meanwhile, the Centre informed the court that an Amritsar boy, who had accidentally ventured into Pakistan in 1984, is not lodged in Kot Lakhpat jail of Pakistan. It told the court that Pakistan was contacted and it has responded stating that missing boy, Nanak Singh, was not in that jail as claimed by a petitioner in the high court.

The Centre responded to a public interest litigation filed by Swaran Singh, ex-sarpanch of Kot Rajada village. The village falls on the border with Pakistan under Ajnala tehsil in Amritsar district. As per the petitioner, five-year-old Nanak Singh alias Kakar Singh had accidently ventured into Pakistan’s territory in November 1984.