Foreign Secretary to meet family of Jagtar Singh Johal

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LONDON: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to meet the family of a Scottish Sikh who has been held in India without trial. Jagtar Singh Johal is alleged to have been tortured and mistreated during his incarceration of more than 500 days.

The 32-year-old from Dumbarton has been held since November 4 2017 after travelling to the Punjab for his wedding, the Asian Image has reported.

It is alleged that while in police detention Mr Singh Johal was tortured by electric shocks to his ears, nipples and genitals, his limbs being forced into opposite directions and forced sleep deprivation. His arrest has been reported to be linked to the killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has previously raised the case in the House of Commons and called on Mr Hunt to meet with his constituent’s family.

The Foreign Secretary has now invited Mr Docherty-Hughes and Mr Singh Johal’s relatives for a meeting. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Our staff continue to support a British man and his family following his detention in Punjab. We continue to visit him regularly, and raise concerns with the government of Indiaabout his case, including allegations of torture and mistreatment and his right to a fair trial.

“The Prime Minister has raised his case with Prime Minister Modi, and Minister for Asia Mark Field has raised it on multiple occasions, most recently with the Indian Foreign Secretary on 12 March.”

Mr Docherty-Hughes added: “I look forward to finally sitting down with the Foreign Secretary alongside the family of my constituent Jagtar Singh Johal.

“It’s disappointing that it’s taken this long, but the meeting is a welcome step forward and I hope Jeremy Hunt will finally show he’s serious about listening to our concerns.

“Irrespective of what Jagtar’s been accused of, he is a British Citizen and the Foreign Office has an obligation to ensure his rights under international law are protected.”