British man 'tortured and electrocuted by police' in India released from custody

Scottish Sikh and activist Jagtar Singh Johal detained in Jalandhar, Punjab, over alleged links to killings of Hindu leaders in state

Hilary Duncanson
Friday 17 November 2017 14:15 GMT
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Jagtar Singh Johal
Jagtar Singh Johal (PA)

A British man arrested in India and said by campaigners to have been tortured by police is now out of police custody following a court hearing, it is claimed.

The Sikh Federation UK said Jagtar Singh Johal is in judicial custody after appearing in court, sparking hopes the “physical torture” will come to an end.

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

The federation says no official charges have been brought against him, but local media reported that Mr Johal's arrest was linked to the killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab.

Mr Johal, 30, who got married in India last month, has told lawyers he has been tortured with “body separation techniques and electrocution to body parts”.

The Sikh Federation said Mr Johal appeared in court in Punjab on Friday, where he was taken out of Indian police custody.

He has been sent to jail until 30 November, when he will reappear in court, the organisation said.

It said he has had a brief meeting with his in-laws and a UK official, but that business cards from his lawyers and the British High Commission representative were later taken off him. He is also being denied fresh warm clothing, it is claimed.

His lawyers are said to have applied for an independent medical examination of Mr Johal.

Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation UK, said: “Hopefully the physical torture will now come to an end, but the mental torture of false imprisonment continues.

“Many are asking why Jagtar was not allowed the business cards for his two lawyers or for the British High Commission representative or allowed to accept clothes from his family.

“The Indian authorities clearly have much to hide and the British and Scottish governments must do much more to secure his release.

“We will be challenging the Foreign Secretary next Tuesday when he appears in the Commons to answer questions from MPs.”

Hundreds of Sikhs held a demonstration outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on Thursday in support of Mr Johal.

PA

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