Claims Scot Tortured By Indian Police

14 November 2017, 16:42

Jagtar in India

The Foreign Office has requested consular access to check the welfare of a British man arrested in India who campaigners say has been tortured by police.

Jagtar Singh Johal from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, was detained in Jalandhar in the state of Punjab on November 4.

The Sikh Federation UK said no official charges have yet appeared, but local media reported Mr Johal's arrest was linked to the killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab.

Mr Johal, who got married in India in October, has told lawyers he has been tortured with "body separation techniques and electrocution to body parts".

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it takes allegations of torture "very seriously" and is taking action to check on his welfare.

An FCO spokesman said: "We are in contact with the family of a British man who has been detained in India. Our staff have requested consular access from the Indian authorities so we can be assured of his welfare.

"We take all allegations or concerns of torture and mistreatment very seriously and will follow up with action as appropriate. When considering how to act, we will avoid any action that might put the individual in question or any other person that may be affected at risk."

The Sikh Federation UK said the 30-year-old should be enjoying married life but "finds himself the subject of some sort of conspiracy hatched by the Punjab police and leading politicians".

At a court hearing on Tuesday to extend his remand until the end of the week, Mr Johal's lawyer requested an independent medical examination of his injuries.

The Sikh Federation said it has contacted more than 100 MPs who are concerned about the case.

Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation, said: "The callous actions of the Indian authorities are sickening, but the Foreign Office and the British High Commission appear to be under pressure not to act and will be accused of looking the other way.

"The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will feel our pressure in the next seven days in Parliament via hundreds of MPs who have been contacted by constituents who are unhappy with the lack of action to secure Jagtar's immediate release and return to the UK."