Wife of jailed Scottish Sikh in India urges Government to secure his release

On the fourth anniversary of his imprisonment, the wife of a Scottish Sikh imprisoned without trial in India called on the government to urgently secure his release.

Jagtar Singh Johal, of Dumbarton, was arrested on November 4, 2017 after traveling to Punjab for his wedding, with local media linking his detention to the murder of Hindu leaders in the area.

The Sikh Federation (UK) says Mr Singh Johal was kidnapped by Indian plainclothes police officers while he was shopping with his wife Gurpreet Kaur.

Mr Singh Johal has repeatedly raised allegations of torture and ill-treatment by the Indian authorities.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson marking four years after her husband’s imprisonment, Ms. Kaur Johal called for the government to intervene in Mr Singh Johal’s case.

She said, “It’s been 4 years today since that terrible day when the police tore Jaggi from my arms and abducted her. I still have nightmares about that day and the subsequent torture of Jaggi.

“The UK government must listen and act to ensure my husband’s release and return after four years in prison.

“We hoped that all charges against Jagtar would be dropped at the last hearing in October 2021, but the case was again adjourned until January 2022 as the Indian authorities were unable to produce evidence in court.

“All I want and pray is that my husband will come home and we can start our life together, but I am worried about his and my mental and physical health because of all this suffering.”

Ms. Kaur Johal also asked for a face-to-face meeting with Foreign Minister Liz Truss, adding, “I need Liz Truss as Foreign Minister and as a wife to look me in the eye and tell me when to be with my husband.

“I suffer silently and I find it difficult to go on. I want her to meet me so that she can hear about my pain. “

SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes raised the issue on Wednesday in the Prime Minister’s questions and told Parliament: “The Prime Minister is very aware of my constituent Jagtar Singh Johal, who was kidnapped by plainclothes officials when he was with his new one Woman went shopping in town Jolanda, Punjab on November 4th.

“In the intervening years, Mr. Spokesman, allegations of torture have been overlooked and allegedly strong words from his government on the case have been overshadowed by excitement over a trade deal with the Republic of India.

“Therefore, Mr. Spokesman, as we approach the fourth anniversary of the arrest of Jagtar tomorrow without the Indian government having brought charges in this case, this government will be able to do Jagtar’s wife and family the slightest favor ? Dumbarton and declare his incarceration an arbitrary one.

In response, Mr. Johnson said, “Mr. Spokesman, I thank him for the campaign he has been leading for a long time. And what I want to tell him is that the proximity of our relations with India in no way detracts from our willingness to bring this case to the Indian government.

“In fact, the foreign minister only mentioned this during her last visit to India.”

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