COVID-19: Coronavirus is impacting the cases of Sikh Political Prisoners languishing in Indian Jails

NEW DELHI—Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Sikh political prisoners were presented in the NIA court of Judge Praveen Kumar in relation to various sections of FIR No. 18, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27 through video conferencing.
 
The prisoners included Jagtar Singh (Jaggi) Johal, Ramandeep Singh Bagga, Hardeep Singh Shera, Dharminder Singh Gugni, Amaninder Singh, Pahar Singh, and other political prisoners. These prisoners are currently lodged in different jails across Delhi.
 
It should be noted that Jagtar Singh (Jaggi) Johal, Hardeep Singh Shera are lodged in Tihar Jail and Ramandeep Singh Bagga, Dharminder Singh Gugni, Amaninder Singh, Pahar Singh, Manpreet, and Ravi Kala are lodged in Mandoli Jail.
 
Lack of action by the sitting judge continued at the hearing as he proposed August 28 as the next court hearing. He asserted that 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 for her husband.
 
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.”

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