- Rishi Sunak Discusses Detained Scottish Sikh with Indian PM
- Pressure on Sunak to Advocate for Jagtar Singh Johal
- Details of Jagtar Singh Johal’s Detention and Charges
Rishi Sunak faced pressure to spotlight the issue of Dumbarton’s Jagtar Singh Johal, whose family alleges he was tortured.
Over seventy lawmakers demanded that Mr. Sunak advocate for his release.
The Foreign Office ruled out intervention in the case earlier this week.
After communicating with Narendra Modi, Mr. Sunak confirmed he raised the matter and other consular issues.
“The foreign office is continuing to provide support to Mr. Johal’s family and will continue to do so,” he stated without providing specifics.
According to his family, he was abducted from the street by plainclothes Punjab Police officers and forced into an unmarked vehicle while out shopping with his wife.
He claims they assaulted and tortured him and shocked his genitalia before he signed a blank confession.
Since then, Mr. Johal has been held in a succession of Indian prisons, accused of financing the purchase of firearms used to assassinate several right-wing Hindu religious and political leaders in Punjab.
“Talk is pointless”
He denies the charges brought against him and asserts that his arrest and prosecution are political in nature.
On the plane to Delhi, when asked if he would be raising the case, Mr. Sunak had said: “I’ll be raising a range of things with Prime Minister Modi – this is something that, just so people are reassured, has already been raised on multiple levels on multiple occasions.”
Gurpreet Johal, a lawyer, and Labour councillor, accused Mr. Sunak on Friday of enabling Mr. Johal to “rot in jail.”
Maya Foa, director of the human rights organization Reprieve, stated, “Theresa May ‘raised’ Jagtar’s case. Also, Boris Johnson. Six years after his capture and torture, he could be hanged for a crime he did not commit.
“The government frequently asserts that ministers have raised the case a hundred times as if this justifies their failure to pursue the release of an arbitrarily detained British national.
What did Rishi Sunak say to Narendra Modi about the matter, and what was Modi’s response? Without addressing these issues, the prime minister’s speech is irrelevant.”