London: As per media reports the UK government to raise concerns about the case of a British Sikh, who was arrested by Punjab Police in targeted killings.
The case of Jagtar Singh Jaggi Johal, a 30-year-old British Sikh from Dunbarton in Scotland who is currently being held in maximum Jail Nabha on murder and conspiracy to murder charges, was raised as part of a debate in the UK Parliament’s Westminster Hall yesterday.
The report in The Tribune (TT) states that:British Sikh MPs Preet Kaur Gill and TanmanjeetSingh Dhesi along with Johal’s local area MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, asked the UK government to raise the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next month.
Mark Field, Minister of state in charge of Asia and the Pacific in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), said he would “try” to see that happens, adding that he would “continue to raise this case at senior levels with Indian authorities”.
He said that “India as a partner in the Commonwealth and also as a partner in many other ways has a strong democratic framework which is designed to guarantee human rights.
However, it also faces numerous challenges related to the size of development and when it comes to enforcing fundamental rights enshrined in its Constitution,” Field said in his response to the debate entitled ‘British Nationals Imprisoned Abroad’.
Preet Kaur Gill, as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs, had organised the debate in order to raise Jaggi Johal’s case.
She laid out the background to the case since Johal was arrested in Punjab in November last year, claiming that he had faced severe torture while in custody.
“Indian authorities have prevented Jagtar having private access to British consular staff,” and his case has become a “farcical trial by media”, she said.
Dhesi added: “It is incumbent on all of us to stand for the human rights of all British citizens. The UK government’s failure to condemn the series of abuses (against Johal) has left all British citizens travelling abroad vulnerable.”
During the debate it emerged that Johal’s local area MP had spoken to the British High Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith, and received an update on the case this week.
The Indian government maintains that “due process” is being followed in the case, which was last raised at a ministerial level during the UK visit of Indian minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju in January