KHANNA, Punjab—Scottish Sikh youth Jagtar Singh Johal, who is in custody of Khanna police in relation to FIR No. 119/16 pertaining to murder of Shiv sena leader Durga Prasad, will be presented before the Duty Magistrate of Khanna Amarjit Singh on December 19. Jagtar Singh Johal was again sent to police custody for two days after the Duty Magistrate Amarjit Singh extended the police remand.
The upcoming court appearance will be important as during the previous hearing, Khanna police claimed to have obtained prominent information about serial murders in Punjab. Details of their investigations were not shared, and it is expected that the police will be asked by the magistrate to provide information on their findings.
Meanwhile, two prominent human rights organizations Ensaaf and Redress have jointly issued a statement to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva seeking its intervention Jagtar Singh Johal’s case.
The joint press release states that Jagtar Singh Johal has been tortured and abused in the police custody. “Mr Johal has remained in police detention without charge. He has been brought before a judge for remand hearings on at least 16 occasions. According to Mr Johal, for the last seven days he has been held alone in a cell, with a police guard present at all times. His left ankle and wrist have been chained using handcuffs 24 hours a day,” the press release states.
On November 4, 2017, Jagtar Singh Johal, was arrested while out shopping with his wife in Rama Mandi in Jalandhar city in Jalandhar district in Punjab, India, hooded and taken away by plain-clothes police officers from Bagha Purana police station.
“From 5 November until 14 November, he was held incommunicado in an undisclosed location in Moga district, with no access to staff from the British High Commission, his family, lawyers or an independent medical professional, except for a brief conversation with his lawyer in public at a court hearing on 5 November. Mr Johal asserts that during 5 to 9 November the police interrogated and tortured him, including by means of electric shocks, forcing his limbs into painful positions and depriving him of sleep,” Ensaaf and Redress claimed.
Copy of the press release is available here.