On PM Modi's Request, Saudi Crown Prince Orders Release Of 850 Indian Prisoners, Increases India's Haj Quota To 2 Lakh

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Wednesday ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in Saudi jails on the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Updated On:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Wednesday ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in jails of Saudi Arabia on the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar made the announcement on his Twitter account on February 20, called it 'another big deliverable'. 

During the Budget session in Parliament, the Ministry of External Affairs said that a total of 4,705 Indian nationals have been lodged in the prisons in Gulf countries, with Saudi Arabia having a total 2,224 prisoners followed by the United Arab Emirates with 1,606 prisoners. 

Along with the release of prisoners, MEA spokesperson also announced that the Saudi Crown Prince has also declared the increase of quota for the Indian pilgrims to 2 lakh at Prime Minister Modi's request.

Reacting to the Saudi deliverable, MEA Secretary (Economic Relations) T S Tirumurti said the implementation of the enhanced quota will depend on logistical and other things, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it will be effective from this year.

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PM Modi and Saudi Crown Prince on Wednesday held bilateral talks in which they agreed upon deepening the strategic ties between the two countries, in the backdrop of India's escalating tension with Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack.

Addressing the joint press briefing, PM Modi reiterated the country's stand on leading the fight against terrorism. Responding to PM Modi's statement, the Saudi Crown Prince also assured to provide complete support to India on its fight against terrorism in Pakistan, by extending cooperation in sharing intelligence.

"Extremism and terrorism are our common concerns. We would like to tell our friend India that we'll cooperate on all fronts, be it intelligence sharing. We'll work with everyone to ensure a brighter future for our upcoming generations," Saudi Crown Prince Salman said during the joint press briefing.

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