Nigeria High Commission seeks release of 12 citizens from Meghalaya prisons

Topics Nigeria | Meghalaya

Representative image

A Nigerian High Commission

representative has met Meghalaya Prison Minister A L Hek and sought his intervention for the release of 12 nationals arrested for illegally crossing into India from Bangladesh.

The arrested Nigerians are languishing in prisons in Meghalaya even after completing their six-month jail terms, Betrand Tochukwu Ikwuka, who was deputed by the country's high commission based in New Delhi, said on Wednesday.

Six Nigerians each are lodged in Shillong and Jowai district prisons, he said.

"Eight months have passed since March and our friends are still languishing in jails here. We are waiting for orders from the Meghalaya government or the Ministry of External Affairs," he told PTI.

A first-class magistrate in East Jaintia Hills district had on February 13 ordered that the Nigerians be deported to their country and a copy of the order was also sent to the chief secretary and the DGP, Ikwuka, a student leader based in Bengaluru, said.

Urging the state government to follow the international human rights protocols, he said, "India and Nigeria have a good relationship and we don't want anything to spoil that."

The Nigerian government does not support the crimes committed by them and is unaware of how the accused persons crossed the international border, he said.

"They were first-time travellers and did not know where Bangladesh ended and India began," Ikwuka said.

The Nigerian government has so far arrested over 22 agents in the African country for sending people abroad without properly briefing them about the local laws.

Prison Inspector General M Kharkrang has given assurance for a comprehensive report on the matter, he said.

The commission representative will visit the two prisons during the day, Hek said.

The delay in their release was because the Home Department has to follow due procedures which also involves the Political Department, he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs will be informed for taking necessary action for deporting the Nigerians to their country, the minister added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel