Hyderabad: Telangana government has spent Rs 5.75 lakh on foreign convicts lodged in state jails.
The amount spent is towards their lodging and food expenses from 2014 and 2019, an RTI reply said.
In an RTI reply to the Hyderabad-based Society for the Safety of Public and Good Governance, there are 17 (5 males and 12 females) foreign convicts lodged in Telangana jails. The number of undertrials varies as many are acquitted or released on bail.
A majority of foreigners are booked under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, forged passport, human trafficking, smuggling, and more.
The RTI reply also revealed that the budget allocated per day has gradually increased from Rs 82.24 in 2014 to Rs 111.22 per inmate per day in 2019.
Cherlapally prison superintendent MR Bhaskar told NewsMeter that there is no special meal cooked for the foreign convicts, however, their requests regarding food are welcomed based on the budget.
"Currently there are two foreign convicts, one from Pakistan and the other from Bangladesh, lodged at the Cherlapally Central Prison. There are many undertrials from the Republic of Congo and Nigeria. A majority of them are facing trial in drug-related cases. Pakistani and Bangladeshi prisoners are ok with spices and prefer rotis over rice. The undertrials from Congo opt for sandwiches, bread, and milk. Food, which can be purchased locally and within the budget, is provided to them," he said.
#RTI Reply about #ForeignConvicts & Under Trail Prisoners in Jails across #Telangana & amount spent per day on each Foreign Prisoner @WeAreHyderabad @anusha_puppala @rahulscribe @NtvTeluguLive @thewire_in @RameshVaitla @DeccanChronicle @CoreenaSuares2 @serish @ShaliniSharma_ pic.twitter.com/SmouZSBld8— Society for Safety of Public and Good Governance (@SSPGHyd) December 16, 2020
#RTI Reply about #ForeignConvicts & Under Trail Prisoners in Jails across #Telangana & amount spent per day on each Foreign Prisoner @WeAreHyderabad @anusha_puppala @rahulscribe @NtvTeluguLive @thewire_in @RameshVaitla @DeccanChronicle @CoreenaSuares2 @serish @ShaliniSharma_ pic.twitter.com/SmouZSBld8
According to the authorities, foreign convicts are not allowed to contact their families. However, they get approval for a mulakat with embassy officials.
"Usually the family approaches the councilor office, who in turn approaches the jail authorities. No international calls are allowed. However the officials from the embassy are allowed for a mulakat, besides letters from family," they said.
Foreign convicts are kept in a separate cell at the central prison. Former Telangana Director-General of Police, Jails, V K Singh said: "When I was heading the department, Rs 55 per day was allocated for food. The total budget is divided into administration costs, electricity, food, and more. The state government annually sanctions a budget of around Rs 100 crore for the welfare of jails which includes salaries. The foreign convicts are provided no out of the budget treatment."
Telangana has three central prisons-- Cherlapally, Chanchalguda and one in Warangal.