Case of British Sikh in Indian jail being actively dealt with: Theresa May

Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton in Scotland, was arrested by Indian authorities in November 2017 on charges of fanning communal disturbance in Punjab.

Published: 13th March 2019 08:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2019 08:53 PM   |  A+A-

British Prime Minister Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May (File | AP)


LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said the case of a British Sikh murder suspect lodged in an Indian jail for over a year was being "actively" dealt with by ministers.

Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton in Scotland, was arrested by Indian authorities in November 2017 on charges of fanning communal disturbance in Punjab.

His constituency's MP, Scottish National Party's (SNP) Martin Docherty-Hughes, has been lobbying for his release along with his family members and raised the issue in the House of Commons during the weekly Prime Minister's Questions.

"On Monday (March 18), my constituent Jagtar Singh Johal would have been incarcerated for 500 days without trial.

He would have suffered trial by media, sanctioned, some would say, by the Indian state," Docherty-Hughes said, calling on May to direct her foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt to take up the case with the Indian government.

"Ministers are dealing with this. They have been actively involved in this case," May said.

"One of the ministers is actually dealing with this case and will I am sure will be pleased to meet with him," she said, in reference to the request for a ministerial meeting.

Johal, a 31-year-old Scottish-born Sikh, was in Jalandhar with his family for his wedding in October 2017 when he was arrested by plainclothes police officials in the city.

The Punjab government claimed he was among a group of suspects arrested in relation to the murder of Hindu leaders in the state.

While the Indian government maintains that "due process" is being followed in the case, British MPs have repeatedly taken up the case in the UK Parliament.

"Mr Johal alleges he has been subjected to torture at the hands of the Indian security forces," Preet Kaur Gill, a Labour Party MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs, noted in a letter to Downing Street last year.

The APPG and other MPs have continued lobbying for the release of Johal, with some Sikh groups in the UK organising a "Free Jaggi" drive.

"The British Sikh community is disgusted that Jagtar is being treated as a second-class citizen by the Foreign Office," said Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of Sikh Federation UK.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp