SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has questioned new Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the incarceration and alleged torture in India of Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal.
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.
Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary at the time of Jagtar’s arrest and alleged torture, and has been criticised by the Singh Johal family for the lack of support given by the then Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Speaking in the House of Commons, SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes pressed the new Prime Minister for assurances that his constituent Jagtar Singh Johal would be at the top of the agenda in any discussions over trade deals with the Indian state.
The MP for West Dunbartonshire also called for a meeting with new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab alongside the family of Jagtar Singh Johal at the earliest opportunity.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded by saying the new Foreign Secretary would be taking up Jagtar’s case as “assiduously” as previous Foreign Secretaries have done.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“After more than 600 days incarcerated in India my constituent has now seen two British Prime Ministers and three Foreign Secretaries with no resolution in sight.
“With a new Prime Minister in place, I will continue working closely with Jagtar’s family to ensure they receive the best possible support from the UK government.
“As a British citizen believed to have been tortured during his detention abroad, Boris Johnson should have done a lot more to intervene in my constituent’s plight as the then Foreign Secretary. But the family’s plea for help fell on deaf ears at the time and now almost two years later Jagtar’s future remains uncertain.
“It’s been a frustrating process for Jaggi’s family here in Scotland, but they are more determined than ever to prove his innocence. I will be working with colleagues in parliament to press the new PM and Foreign Secretary to do everything possible to help secure justice for Jagtar.”