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Raab criticised for ‘sidetracking’ meeting plea with Dumbarton man’s family

The brother of a Dumbarton man detained in India says the Foreign Secretary has snubbed pleas for a meeting.

Gurpreet Singh Johal, who has been lobbying for the release of his brother Jagtar Singh Johal, says Dominic Raab had “sidetracked” the request.

The First Minister sent a letter to him earlier this month calling on him to meet personally with the 34-year-old’s relatives.

But Gurpreet said the Foreign Secretary had avoided the question and did not commit to a face-to-face meeting.

He said: “I’m disappointed because he has provided a standard government reply stating ‘we are doing this and this’ but no commitment for a personal meeting.

“There is nothing meaningful in the response.

“He has totally sidetracked the First Minister’s question urging him to meet with us.

“I understand there’s a lot going on in Afghanistan which has his attention but he could still agree to meet in the future or even speak with us on a video call, which would be a compromise. It’s very frustrating but we will continue to lobby. The fight continues.”


In the letter she sent, Nicola Sturgeon said she is concerned Jagtar, known as Jaggi, has been detained for almost four years without trial.

She also said she was “deeply concerned” about allegations of torture and mistreatment.

The former Our Lady and St Patricks High School pupil has been imprisoned in India since November 2017 over alleged involvement in the killings of right-wing Hindu leaders and the funding of a now-proscribed group, which he denies.

Human rights charity Reprieve has demanded the UK Government seek the release of Jagtar, saying he could face the death penalty if convicted.

The Foreign Office have said they have consistently raised concerns about the case with the government of India, including his allegations of torture and mistreatment and his right to a fair trial.

They say consular staff have regular telephone calls with Jagtar and have attended court hearings to observe.



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