Johal’s wife urges UK Government minister to help end ‘darkness’
LONDON, UK—The wife of detained Scottish citizen Jagtar Singh Johal has pleaded a UK Government minister to help her family out of the “darkness” of his Indian jail ordeal in a virtual meeting.
The Dumbarton man, a Sikh blogger known to supporters as Jaggi, has now been held by Indian authorities for 970 days over alleged involvement in the killings of right-wing Hindu leaders and the funding of a now-proscribed group.
He says police subjected him to torture after his November 2017 arrest, which followed his Punjab wedding, and threatened to shoot him or set him on fire. No evidence has been led against him, even though authorities said they had everything they needed to prosecute him in the days after his arrest. UN experts have raised concerns about his case and more than 40,000 people have signed a “Justice for Jaggi” petition.
Yesterday his wife, who is now living with his family in Scotland, urged Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad to help them. We have agreed not to identify her while she awaits the outcome of a residency battle due to potential reprisals in India.
The 40-minute virtual meeting came after The National revealed how the family had been waiting almost two months for talks. It was conducted in English and Punjabi, which Johal’s wife says helped her to “have a voice”.
During the session, she and brother-in-law Gurpreet Singh-Johal, Jagtar’s solicitor brother, asked Ahmad to do everything he can to raise the many delays in Jagtar’s case and his recent bail refusal.
His wife said: “We are not saying ‘get him out tomorrow’, we are saying ‘do something about the case’.”
And she told Ahmad, who has taken a “personal interest” in her mental and emotional turmoil, saying: “I’ve got to wake up every morning to this. Everything is darkness, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”
The family has not spoken to Johal, who is in the sprawling Tihar jail, since September. On what she’d say to her husband, she said: “I’d ask him how he is. I’d tell him I’m waiting for him so we can pick up our life together and forget about this nightmare.”
This is an on going case and I will not comment on whether I think this man is guilty or innocent. I simply do not know the facts.
I am a Hindu living in the UK and also have no comment to my Sikh brothers and sisters who are protesting on this matter.
However to all Hindus I would ask one question. What action do you expect the Sikh community to take ? It’s been nearly 40 years since the massacre in India. Most UK Hindus support the BJP. This was done under a Congress government. Have you heard Kirron Kher (BJP Chandigaragh) speach in the Lok Sabah ? She is right. Look up her video.
Don’t judge Sikhs on what the most extreme of them say. In fact thank them for holding the Indian government to account.
The BJP made a huge error in Punjab. We allied with the local party and thought they would progress the matter. But while the BJP is in power only the BJP can resolve this matter. Do you think Sonia Ghandi will ever give Sikhs justice if her party comes to power ? Do you think that any opposition party has even a chance ?
But do you also wish to support a political party that does nothing when it’s citizens are slaughtered ?
I say this to even supporters of the RSS. If Shree Krsna was here right now what would he tell you to do ?
You should all the answer. Stand in front of the Sikhs when they demonstrate.
To all Sikhs I would say just this. Only people with passion can keep an injustice in the public eye for nearly 40 years. You may not agree with their personal views but don’t let that cloud your mind on the main issue. And that is coming from a Hindu. My enthusiasm for the BJP is only compromised by the unfair treatment of minorities.
My email is [email protected]. Please contact me if you are from the RSS in India and can speak English.
If your Sikh share this comment on Facebook everywhere to force a reaction within 30 days or less from the RSS.
[…] due to coronavirus pandemic, no action could be taken. Meanwhile, it is important to mention that Jagtar Singh Johal’s wife recently also met with a UK official via an online meeting. Johal’s wife urged Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad to help them seek a fair trial […]