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Indian criminals prefer Dubai prisons to at-home jails

As India and UAE work out an agreement for prisoner exchange, Indians serving sentences in Dubai jails appear wary of the prospect of completing their terms in prisons at home, with some describing the detention centres in India as "hell".

Many Indian prisoners here in fact dread the prospect and are not keen to return home for the remaining period of incarceration, a media report said.

Several Indian prisoners in Dubai, who may be given a chance to serve their remaining prison terms back in India, say they are wary of going home because prisons back home are like "hell," it said.

Vinayak, a 76-year-old prisoner in jail on drug charges, told Gulf News he does not want to go to India to serve his remaining term.

"Here they treat me well. The jail is clean and I am given health care," he told the newspaper. Vinayak is among five prisoners convicted of drug charges by a court in Dubai and serving life terms at Dubai central jail. They have been in jail for 12 years now.

UAE and India are working out an agreement in which thousands of Indian prisoners here will be able to serve their terms back in Indian jails.

YG, the 45-year-old accomplice of Vinayak, said, he has been in jail since 1998 for dealing in drugs. "I am one of five prisoners who are here for many years after being convicted in a drug related case involving tablets (class B substances)," said the 45-year-old Gujarati prisoner.

"I prefer to finish my jail term in the UAE despite the fact that my partners and I were not included in two pardons but I still have faith in the generosity of people here," he said.

Another 60-year-old prisoner who is also in prison in the same case said the jail here is clean. "I hope that the authorities will pardon us as they usually do," he said. He said, "if he went to Indian jail he will not survive".

"I am poor and have no one back home. Here they treat me well and give me respect," he said. Another prisoner from Kerala said, "In Indian jails one has to be member of a gang to survive".

Many prisoners said that prison guards here were kind, the food was good and the jail facility hygienic. "We will not go to Indian jails... it will be a real suffering," a prisoner told the newspaper.


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