Dubai, June 1 (IANS) As Indian prisoners in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prepare to get transferred to some Indian jail under a bilateral prisoner exchange agreement, some of them are ashamed to take up the offer due to the nature of their crimes.
Those jailed for immoral crimes like trafficking women and forcing them into prostitution fear that they won't be able to face their own people when they go to some jail in their own country, The National reported Saturday.
"People caught for immoral activities will not want to show their faces at home," a prisoner, identified only by his initials BA, was quoted as saying.
He is serving 10 years for murder and hopes to serve his remaining three years in India.
"For people involved in that business, it will be difficult to go back because there is too much shame," he said.
However, he said that he knew at least 200 Indians jailed in the UAE for murder and all of them want to make the move to a jail back home.
Last month, UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had ratified a deal that allowed the transfer of prisoners between his country and India.
The decree endorsed an agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners signed by the two sides in November 2011.
The agreement was signed to allow the prisoners to serve the rest of their sentences among their own communities
New Delhi believes there are 1,200 Indian prisoners in jails in the UAE.
Another prisoner, identified as KB, who has 10 years of his jail term left, too hopes to shift to a jail in his home country.
"We have been told that if we are eligible, we can return in the next three months," KB said.
"The agreement was signed in 2011. I hope it doesn't get delayed any more."
However, according to the report, Indian jails are mostly full and space constraints may further delay the process.
"Prisons in India are full and any jail these men choose must have space to take them," K. Kumar, head of the Indian Community Welfare Committee who helped to distribute more than 200 forms at Dubai Central Prison this week, was quoted as saying.
"We will also include a second choice in the forms so there is an option if the jail they choose close to their home is full. Otherwise the paperwork will go back and forth," he said.
The forms require an inmate's name, reason for imprisonment, time served and passport details.
However, those convicted of drug offences, financial crimes or are required to pay blood money in murder cases are not eligible for the scheme.
Each case will be scrutinised to assess if it meets the terms of the agreement, according to the report.