Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has welcomed assurances given by the Foreign Secretary to the family of Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal who has been incarcerated in India for more than 500 days.
SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes described a meeting this week between Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the family of Scottish Sikh Jagtar Singh Johal as “an important step forward”.
32 year old Jagtar, known as “Jaggi”, has been held without trial in India since 4 November 2017 after travelling to the Punjab for his wedding. Jagtar’s family in Dumbarton maintain his innocence and continue to work tirelessly to secure his release.
It is alleged that whilst in police detention Jagtar Singh Johal was tortured by electric shock to his ears, nipples and genitals, forcing his limbs into opposite directions and sleep deprivation. But the Indian authorities have refused to allow for an independent medical examination despite concerns being raised by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Following a meeting with the family and local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt pledged that government officials would do all they can to support Jagtar and his family.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“In the 538 days since Jagtar’s incarceration in India his family in Scotland have been working tirelessly in their efforts to prove his innocence.
“Alongside a cross-party group of MPs I have been doing all I can to support my constituent. Securing this meeting with the Foreign Secretary has been constructive and is an important step forward in the family’s campaign to secure justice for Jaggi.
“The Foreign Secretary has listened to the concerns of Jagtar’s family and given his personal assurances that they have his full support. This is to be welcomed and I believe there may be an opportunity now to make progress in ensuring proper due process in Jagtar’s case.
“The impact of this arbitrary detention and violation of Jagtar’s human rights by the Indian state authorities has been harrowing for his loved ones. The families of Scots imprisoned abroad deserve the best possible support from the Foreign Office and I intend to hold Jeremy Hunt to the promises made to my constituents.”
In a Tweet following the meeting, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“Mark Field, Minister for Asia, and I met Martin Docherty-Hughes MP and members of Jagtar Singh Johal’s family earlier to discuss his case. Mark, and Foreign & Commonwealth staff in the UK and India have been and will continue to do all they can to support Jagtar and his family.”