"the allegations of torture and mistreatment made by Mr Johal"
A senior Scottish minister has called for the UK Government and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to help the family of a man detained in India, three years after his arrest.
On November 4, 2017, Jagtar Singh Johal was forced into a van while walking with his new wife in Punjab.
Authorities claimed that they had evidence that the 33-year-old from Dumbarton was involved in a plot to assassinate multiple Hindu leaders, however, no evidence has been heard in court.
In addition, no independent assessment has taken place over claims that he was tortured and threatened with being set on fire while in the custody of the Punjab Police.
Mr Johal, who worked as an internet marketer, remains in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. His family believes he was targeted for his nationality, ethnicity and online activities.
His brother Gurpreet Singh Johal is leading the #FreeJaggiNow campaign.
He met with Scotland’s External Affairs Secretary Michael Russell and MSP Jackie Baillie in an attempt to urge them to do more to help.
Mr Russell has now sent a letter to Mr Raab, urging him to act.
The National received access to the letter and it read:
“The Scottish Government has received a number of representations in relation to this case both from the Sikh community and from local politicians.
“The Scottish Government remains deeply concerned about the detention of Jagtar Singh Johal, who has now been in custody for three years with no date for a trial set.
“The Scottish Government is also deeply concerned by the allegations of torture and mistreatment made by Mr Johal whilst in custody.
“I would be grateful if you could provide an update on the support that the UK Government is providing and reassurance that Mr Johal is being treated in accordance with the law and has access to the full range of services to which he is entitled.
“I would also appreciate an update on what steps you are taking to ensure that Mr Johal is able to receive a fair trial and that the allegations of torture are thoroughly investigated.
“I would like to appeal to you as Foreign Secretary to meet with the family of Jagtar Singh Johal to provide the family with these reassurances.
“I am also approaching the Indian Consul General for Scotland, on behalf of the Johal family, to request a meeting.”
This comes after an immigration tribunal ruled that Mr Johal’s wife, Gurpreet Kaur, should be allowed to stay in Scotland.
Mrs Kaur, who is an Indian national, was set to move to Scotland prior to his arrest. After he was remanded in Tihar Jail, she travelled to join her in-laws out of fear she would be harassed.
She has been in the UK since April 2019, however, the Home Office said there was no reason for her to stay.
Following the ruling, she is now able to stay with her nephews in the home they share with their parents, grandfather and great-grandmother.
Gurpreet Singh Johal commented on the campaign:
“We are grateful for the continued support that we’ve been having, which is not just from the Sikh community. It’s only together that we can bring him back.”