New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan told the Lok Sabha on Friday that over 16 lakh Indians have given up their citizenship since 2011, including 183,741 this year.
Muraleedharan provided the figure in a written reply to a question by Congress legislator Abdul Khaleque, who sought details of the number of people who renounced their Indian citizenship since January 2015.
Referring to information available from the external affairs ministry, Muraleedharan said 131,489 people gave up their Indian citizenship in 2015, 141,603 in 2016, 133,049 in 2017, 134,561 in 2018, 144,017 in 2019, 85,256 in 2020, 163,370 in 2021 and 1,83,741 till October 31 this year. For reference purposes, he said, the figure was 122,819 for 2011, 120,923 for 2012, 131,405 for 2013, and 129,328 for 2014.
As per the information given by the minister, the total number of Indians who have given up their Indian citizenship since 2011 adds up to 1.6 million people. On Khaleeq’s request for an estimate of assets taken away from India by those giving up their citizenship, Muraleedharan said the Ministry of External Affairs does not maintain data.
He added that the number of foreign nationals, except citizens of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who had taken Indian citizenship was 93 in 2015, 153 in 2016, 175 in 2017, 129 in 2018, 113 in 2019, 27 in 2020, 42 in 2021 and 60 in 2022.
In a written reply to a separate question by BJP MLA Rahul Kaswan, Muraleedharan said a total of 8,441 Indians are currently in foreign jails, including under-trials. Out of this figure, 4,389 are lodged in jails in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.
India and the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, under which Indian nationals lodged in prisons in the emirates can be transferred to India to serve the remainder of their sentence and vice versa. The agreement was signed in 2011 and is currently operational.
The transfer of a convicted person to the country of his nationality under the Convention depends on the completion of several formalities, such as the prisoner’s willingness to be transferred, the consent of the transferring and receiving countries, availability of complete documentation, and approval from appropriate agencies.
“Requests for requisite documents for processing the transfer of sentenced persons have been sent to the UAE side,” Muraleedharan said, without giving details.