Sturgeon calls on Raab to meet family of Sikh man imprisoned in India


Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to meet the family of a Scottish Sikh man who has been imprisoned in India for almost four years.

Jagtar Singh Johal, known as Jaggi, of Dumbarton, Scotland was arrested by plain-clothed Punjab Police officers after having a sack thrown over his head.

He had been out shopping in the city of Jalandhar with his cousin and wife of one month in October 2017 and has been held in detention ever since.

Indian police released a statement saying Jaggi was being held on the grounds of financing weapons for terror group, the Khalistan Liberation Force.

The Khalistan Liberation Force takes its name from what the northern Indian state of Punjab would have been called if it had become independent.

The police added that these weapons were then used in the killing of prominent Hindu leaders including several right-wing figures who died that year.

However, his brother, Gurpreet, believes that Jaggi was arrested for writing about historical human rights abuses against the Sikh community in India.

Jaggi has previously told his lawyer that he has been “falsely implicated” tortured into making a confession which Indian authorities have strongly denied.

Earlier this month, Gurpreet asked Nicola Sturgeon for her assistance in the #FreeJaggi campaign which has amassed a number of supporters.

In response, she met with him and wrote a letter to the Foreign Secretary saying Gurpreet was disappointed with the lack of support from the Foreign Office.

The First Minister asked Raab to “personally” meet the family and raise allegations of torture and the importance of a fair trial with the Indian authorities in question.

Gurpreet Singh Johal said he was grateful to have finally been able to meet Nicola Sturgeon almost four years after his brother was first imprisoned.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office told the BBC: “We have consistently raised our concerns about Mr Johal’s case with the government of India, including his allegations of torture and mistreatment and his right to a fair trial.

“In-person consular visits in India are currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, consular staff have regular telephone calls with Mr Johal in lieu of visits.”

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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