New Delhi: Some 40 Indian prisoners languishing in Sri Lanka`s prisons are seeking humane treatment, alleging that Indian officials appear deaf to their pleadings and complaints.
A spokesman for the prisoners said some had spent 16 years in jail, but Indian authorities were making no efforts to get them released, in contrast to the concern periodically shown to Indian prisoners in Pakistan.
One of the prisoners who contacted a newswire using a borrowed mobile telephone said that most of the Indians in three jails were suffering from all kinds of mental and physical ailments.
"Life sentence in Sri Lanka means spending the whole life in jail. We are all suffering from various mental and physical problems. No one is bothered, Sir," the prisoner said.
According to a statement laid on the table of the Lok Sabha July 8 by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, a total of 6,540 Indians are jailed in 59 countries on a variety of charges.
The statement said Sri Lanka had 33 male and four female Indian prisoners. But the Indian who spoke to the news agency put the figure at 43 – 28 at the Wellikade jail, 10 in Ngombo and five in Anuradhapura.
The charges against the Indians are mostly of drug trafficking and illegal immigration.