– NIA seeks to transfer Jagtar Singh Jaggi to Tihar Jail; Seeks 90 day remand extension

Free Jaggi Now !

London-UK, 14 February 2018. The NIA has submitted a 100 page report in a sealed envelope, expecting to be granted a full 90 day remand extension. However the judge was not pleased with the representations from the prosecutors and their lack of respect when addressing the judge.

Three NIA prosecutors were talking over each other when addressing the judge, and seemed confused as to their arguments.

Strong arguments were made on behalf of Jaggi to oppose the extension. The NIA fully expected to receive a decision today. The judge has stated she will give her decision on Wednesday 14th February. It is expected that ultimately the judge will grant the NIA request as the Indian judiciary has shown a clear bias in every case so far.

The NIA have also filed an application to be granted an order to transfer Jaggi and the other Singhs to Tihar jail in Delhi. A reply to the transfer order will be given on 15th February 2018.

Jaggi will appear in court for the 26th time on 14th February to find out the outcome of the remand extension application by the NIA.

The NIA wish to assert their authority by moving Jaggi and the other Singhs away from their lawyers and families. This tactic of relocating Sikh prisoners to jails outside of Punjab has been used repeatedly by the Indian state in order to subject families, prisoners, and their lawyers to further hardship by putting a drain on all their resources.


Asian Image – Jagtar Singh Johal detention: ‘100 days on we are still waiting to hear what exactly Jaggi has been charged with’

Glasgow, 12 February 2018. The family of a Scottish Sikh man detained in India without charge say they do not feel safe to travel to the country.

Jagtar Singh Johal, 31, has now spent 100 days in custody since he was arrested in Punjab on November 4, shortly after his wedding.

Indian authorities allege Mr Johal, who was born and brought up in Glasgow, was involved in financing the killing of Hindu leaders but he has not been formally charged with any offence.

Speaking in Glasgow on Monday, Gurpreet Singh Johal said his brother, known as Jaggi, was a friendly, bubbly person, who should be enjoying “the happiest time of his life” after his wedding.

Gurpreet said: “Various allegations have been made against Jaggi that he has been accused of funding right-wing murders, however no evidence has been provided in relation to any of this.

“No charge sheet has been filed and 100 days on we are still waiting to hear what exactly Jaggi has been charged with.

“We are also concerned that the UK Government are not able to protect its citizens. Jaggi has been subject to third degree torture, extreme action was promised but it’s not been taken.

“On November 7 the chief minister of Punjab stated they had all the evidence but 100 days on it still isn’t clear.

“It’s ended any right to a fair trial, 100 days have elapsed and they have sought another 90 days so it’s causing concern of what’s actually going on.”

Gurpreet said his brother may have translated documents to English for a website about the 1984 Golden Temple massacre of Sikhs, but there was no evidence of the alleged crimes.

He said: “It appears that (the police) may have got the wrong person but to save face they keep on going down this route of keeping him as long as they can and glorifying some of these allegations in order to keep him there longer.”

Gurpreet travelled to India with another family member shortly after his brother was arrested but they were forced to leave the country.

He said: “Our lives became at risk so we had to leave on November 9, not by choice, but it was going to cause more grief for the family.

“Right now I don’t think it’s safe for me to go.”

The case has been raised with the United Nations through human rights organisation Redress.

Advocacy officer Josie Fathers said: “Jagtar’s treatment to date raises concerns about the chances of him being subject to further torture and ill treatment.

“He remains without charge and has been virtually isolated from the outside world.

“In December, Redress urged UN special rapporteur on torture to intervene in Jagtar’s case to ensure that he is protected from ill treatment.

“When there are strong allegations of torture the special rapporteur has the power to request the government of India that any alleged ill treatment is stopped and investigated.

“We continue to urge him to intervene and hope there is progress ahead of the Human Rights Council in March.”

MP Martin Docherty-Hughes, who represents the constituency of the Johal family home in Dumbarton, has been working with cross-party colleagues to highlight Mr Johal’s case.

He said the FCO needs to “up its game” in terms of consular assistance, claiming support for Mr Johal was “remiss, especially at the beginning”.

He added: “The longer it goes without charge the Indian authorities leave themselves open to accusation of undermining an open and fair trial.”

An FCO spokesman said: “Our staff continue to support a British man and his family following his detention in Punjab.

“We continue to press the Indian authorities for further access to ensure he can receive the necessary consular assistance.”

Justice Upheld – Press Release: Taliban issue A ‘Fatwa’ against a Sikh man for refusing to shut down a school!

News provided by Justice Upheld on Saturday 10th Feb 2018

In 2004, 44 year old Harjit Singh (not his real name), a Pakistani national and a baptised Sikh man opened a Sikh faith school in a distinct in Peshawar Pakistan for the children of his minority Sikh Community.

A member of the Taliban in the region contacted Harjit Singh and ordered him to close down the School with immediate effect, failing which, Harjit Singh would be killed. Harjit Singh recognised the threat to be real and immediate.

The Taliban member making the threat is a well known member of the Taliban known to the communities in the region.

Mr Harjit Singh refused to close the School. As a consequence, the Taliban issued a ‘fatwa’ against him with an order to kill him. The Taliban filed a formal complaint (‘First Investigation Report’ – ‘FIR’) against Harjit Singh with the local Police.

The Police were uninterested investigating the matter since the Taliban have a powerful influence and presence in the region.

Harjit Singh sought help from the local Sikh leaders who were unable to assist. Harjit Singh said that they do not have any power, they too live in fear of the Taliban.

The school was forced to close in 2004. Harjit Singh together with his wife aged 39, and three children (aged 15, 13 and 11) fled their homes. Mrs Singh and the children stayed with Mrs Singh’s family whilst Mr Singh moved from city to city. Harjit Singh was unable to get a job to support his family.

On two occasions, he was employed in casual employment, his employers and colleagues found out that he was on the run from the Taliban when someone from his village met him and reported him to the Taliban.

In April, 2017 Harjit Singh had no alternative but to flee Pakistan taking his wife and young children with him to a safe country where he has sought asylum. Mr Singh’s and his family’s application for asylum is waiting to be progressed.

The family are extremely anxious about their future and concerned for the safety of their friends and family in Pakistan. Mr Harjit Singh said ‘The threat from the Taliban is real, I had no alternative but to ensure the safety and future of my children and my wife.

Sikhs are a minority in Pakistan. We are forced to pay ‘jizya’ (historically a form of tax charged to non-Muslims living in an Islamic country).

Mr Harjit Singh said ‘….Pakistan is his ancestral home however, he was denied the right to practice his faith freely. Sikhs in Pakistan are forced to pay the jizya tax to practice their faith and even to access roads. We are oppressed in own country’.

Jas Uppal from ‘Justice Upheld’, a British Human Rights charity based in the UK who is representing Mr Singh said that ‘We view the treatment of Mr Harjit Singh and his family in Pakistan is nothing short of oppression, discrimination and persecution of a minority. We understand that the Sikh population in Pakistan is currently less than 20,000.

Prior to the Partition in 1947, the Sikh population combined with the other minorities in Pakistan was 20% in the region. This has now been reduced to less than 1%. The Sikh population was not recorded in the 2017 census in Pakistan’.

The world is ignoring the suffering of Sikhs and other minorities in Pakistan at their peril which emboldens the persecutors to continue with impunity’.

The current Sikh population in Pakistan is less than 8,000 and dwindling. Prior to the Partition in 1947, the Sikh and Hindu population combined in the region before the creation of ‘Pakistan’ was 20%.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Justice Upheld, on Saturday 10 February, 2018.

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Asian Image – Critically acclaimed documentary ‘1984: When the Sun Didn’t Rise’ to be shown across the UK

London-UK, 7 February 2018. A critically acclaimed documentary on the 1984 Sikh genocide will be shown across the UK in a month long tour.

The tour of ‘1984: When the Sun Didn’t Rise’ is being facilitated by Nishaan, a University Sikh student network. Twenty universities and 12 Gurdwaras will show the film.

Created by Teenaa Kaur over a five-year period, the documentary follows the lives of women of the infamous ‘widow’s colony’, an area on the outskirts of Delhi given the name for the amount of women left without husbands following the 1984 Sikh genocide.

Teenaa Kaur is an independent director/producer and screenwriter with a wide range of experience in documentary genres.

Teenaa Kaur said, ‘I am delighted to be able to take my film to the UK, where the issue of the Sikh genocide of 1984 is important to Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.

“I hope to be able to provide audiences with a deeper understanding of those living with the lasting traumas of the genocide and to challenge racial discrimination in any form.”

Jaspinder Singh said of the tour, ‘It is an honour to be able to help people watch such an important film for anyone who values human rights and social justice.

“We thank all the University Sikh Societies and Sikh organisations involved for making this happen.’ – 100 days of arrest: activists to raise awareness of Jagtar Singh Johal’s continued detention

Sikh24 Editors

London-UK, 3 February 2018. The detention of 30-year-old Scottish activist Jagtar Singh Johal continues, without charge, and has reached more than 90 days in custody. He was abducted by the Punjab police on 4 November 2017, without any charges.

As the Punjab Police continually ask for extensions, the Indian judges have granted repeated remands, with Jagtar appearing in court more than 20 times since his abduction.

To this day, Jagtar continues to be shifted back and forth between NIA and judicial custody. Despite the confirmation of torture taking place during the first few days of his incarceration, he has been denied the right to an independent medical examination as well as private meetings with the British High Commission.

Jagtar’s detainment will reach 100 days in mid-February. To help raise awareness, a Twitter event has been organized on Monday 12 February, 2018, with coordinated times in UK (8pm), USA (3pm EST) and Canada (3pm EST).

Please share this event with your local sangat at Gurdwara, community, school, friends and family.

For the latest updates, please follow this campaign on all social media:

Twitter: @FreeJaggiNow

Facebook: Free Jaggi Now

Instagram: freejagginow

Sikh Federation UK – UK Government failing 30-year old Scot torture victim held in Indian jail for 3 months without charge

London, 1 February 2018. Today Jagtar appeared in court for the 24th time, but still no evidence has been presented and no charges have been forthcoming.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) that took over the case six weeks ago from Punjab police was reprimanded by the judge today for delays and failing to produce the correct paper work.

Martin Docherty-Hughes the MP for 30-year old Jagtar Singh Johal from Dumbarton and Jagtar’s elder brother also today met with Mark Field, the Foreign Minister responsible for relations with India.

Mark Field was told the UK Government was failing to protect Jagtar from ill-treatment and not doing enough to secure his release and return home.

Foreign Minister Rory Stewart gave assurances in the House of Commons on 21 November of ‘extreme action’ against the Indian authorities in relation to the torture of the 30-year old Brit.

However, three months following Jagtar’s abduction on 4 November, allegations of third degree torture, denial of an independent medical examination, lack of private access to consular staff and no charges the Foreign Office is being accused of deliberately wasting time and negligence.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

“The Foreign Secretary has failed to issue a statement or meet Jagtar’s family and Sir Dominic Asquith, the British High Commissioner to India has also been silent.”

“Mark Field has been photographed winning and dinning with Indian government representatives and more concerned with trade and protests against the Indian PM, Narendra Modi when he visits Britain in April.”

Yesterday a report titled: ‘Beyond discretion, The protection of British Nationals abroad from torture and ill-treatment’ was released in Parliament by Redress, a human rights organisation dedicated to securing justice for torture victims.

More than 100 British citizens a year are subjected to ill-treatment in foreign jails, but many struggle to get the Foreign Office assistance they need.

At the launch in Parliament organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Human Rights those present heard from Richard Ratcliffe on his campaign in the case of his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British mother jailed in Iran.

Others that spoke included Gurpreet Singh Johal the brother of Jagtar Singh Johal and Billy Irving one of the Chennai 6 who were scathing in Britain’s approach with India.

Several Sikh representatives spoke about Jagtar Singh Johal and India as well as Martin Docherty-Hughes the MP for Jagtar Singh Johal, Liz McInnes the Shadow Minister responsible for relations with India and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi the MP from Slough.

All speakers in relation to Jagtar Singh Johal and the Chennai 6 agreed that the British Government was failing to provide strong enough protection to its citizens when they are unjustly jailed and tortured In India.

The 75-page Redress report highlights the specific cases of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran, Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege in Ethiopia and Jagtar Singh Johal in India and accuses the UK Government of “a failure to speak out in the face of serious human rights violations” that “seriously weakens the protection of its own nationals and risks legitimising abuses.”

Bhai Amrik Singh continued:

“We are deeply concerned with the time taken by Foreign Office officials to act upon Jagtar’s allegations of third degree torture and their failure to gain private access since his abduction three months ago.”

“Consular officials appear to simply be relying on physical signs of torture and ignoring the relentless psychological torture Jagtar has been under.”

“Although the Indian authorities have been torturing and mistreating Jagtar the UK Government has become complicit without taking the ‘extreme action’ they promised MPs in Parliament to protect him.”

“The Foreign Office must immediately intervene or there is likely to be a mass protest later this month in London due to their negligence and also will increase the number of protesters when the Indian PM attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April.”

A very broad coalition is being put together involving the Chennai 6 and Scots in general to protest against the treatment of British citizens tortured and jailed in India.

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Evening Standard – Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn back campaign for London memorial to Sikh soldiers

Robin De Peyer

Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn have joined forces to call for a memorial in London commemorating the contribution of Sikh soldiers during the two world wars.

The London Mayor said the memorial should take “pride of place” in the capital as it was announced that £375,000 has been raised for the project so far.

Speaking at the parliamentary launch of a campaign for a National Sikh War Memorial in central London, he said: “Britain and the world owe a huge debt to the Sikh service men and women who fought alongside British troops during the First and Second World Wars.

“The heroic Sikh soldiers who laid down their lives for our country and the freedoms we enjoy today should get the recognition they deserve.”

More than 80,000 turban-wearing Sikh soldiers are estimated to have died fighting for Britain during the two world wars, with 100,000 more injured.

The campaign for a memorial to their efforts to be built in London has won the support of more than 27,000 people in an online petition.

It also gained cross-party backing from the likes of Labour leader Mr Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, and communities secretary Sajid Javid.

Labour’s Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who last year became the first turban-wearing Sikh to enter Parliament as an MP hosted the campaign launch on Tuesday evening.

“Memorials already exist in London for Soldiers from the Commonwealth, British India, Poland, African-Caribbean nations, and for the Gurkhas but none of a turbaned Sikh Soldier,” he said.

“Hopefully with the active support of the Government, the Mayor of London and the local authorities, we will in the very near future have a permanent national monument in a fitting central London location.”

The News – Indian authorities rattled by Kashmiri and Sikh protest in London

Saeed Niazi

London-UK, 28 January 2018. Two groups of protesters clashed outside Indian High Commission as Kashmiris and Sikhs jointly protested against Indian government actions while a group organised by the Indian officials attacked the protesters.

Sikhs and Kashmiris who traditionally demonstrate on India’s Republic Day outside the Indian High Commission in London to declare their desire for freedom from Indian occupation but for the first time Indian officials organised counter protest which turned into violence as pro-Indian protesters attacked Sikhs and Kashmiris.

Scotland Yard officials tried to separate the protesters and then called more force to take away pro-India protestors who were issuing threats and threw a few water bottles at the protesters.

Carrying placards accusing the Sikhs and Kashmiris of being terrorists, shouting “Modi, Modi” and howling abuse at their opponents the Indian protesters eventually beat a retreat once it was clear that they were getting a more than robust response from a spirited gathering of Sikh and Kashmiri self determination supporters.

India has been incensed at its diplomats being recently banned from speaking at many Sikh Gurdwaras in the UK, Canada and the USA. High Commission officers were also visibly stung seeing vans parked outside the London High Commission proclaiming “Khalistan Zindabad”, “Free Kashmir” and calling for freedom in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

Indian lobby complaints last week led to Transport for London issuing a circular to stop advertisement agencies from displaying these messages on public transport.

Lord Nazir Ahmed led the protestors and condemned the ‘extremist Hindutva’ elements that had sought to prevent peaceful democratic protest. Speaker after speaker said their communities would never be intimidated by such cowardly tactics.

Amrik Singh Sahota, OBE, President of the Council of Khalistan said the international community, including the Commonwealth, should hold Modi to account for his own personal and his country’s diabolic record on human rights.

As a country that formally rejects the right of self determination (enshrined in international law as Article 1 of the 1966 Covenants on Human Rights), he said the role of responsible international bodies was to punish, not, reward India.

The conflicts arising from that illegal position had led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold misery. Dr Mukul Hazarika of Assam Watch (UK) said India must “return the sovereign status of the shackled deserving nations viz the Kashmiris, Khalistanis and the nationalities of Eastern South East Asia”.

Lord Qurban Hussain, also participating in the protest, spoke of the need for the UN to intervene and bring peace to what is perhaps the most dangerous conflict zone in the world today.

The Tribune – Amritsar to Birmingham flight from 20 February

New Delhi-India, 25 January 2018. National carrier Air India said today that it would commence non-stop flight operations between Birmingham and Amritsar from February 20.

According to the airline, the twice-a-week service from Amritsar will be operated on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

“The new flight… will operate on the Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham-Amritsar-Delhi route with the state-of-the-art Dreamliner aircraft on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” it said in a statement.

Air India also operates two daily connecting flights from Amritsar to London and back via Delhi.

“This is the first direct flight being operated by any airline between Punjab and the UK,” an airline spokesperson said.

Flight AI-117 from Delhi will leave at 11.20 am and reach Amritsar at 12.25 am. It will depart from Amritsar at 1.55 pm and reach Birmingham at 5.15pm (local time). On the return leg, AI-118 will take off from Birmingham at 6.45 pm and reach Amritsar the next day at 7.45 am. The plane will leave from Amritsar at 9.15 am and arrive in Delhi at 10.30 am.

“Air India’s direct flight from Amritsar to Birmingham and back will not only fulfil the needs of the ethnic community to fly direct to the holy city, but also help to develop better tourism and trade relations in general,” the statement added.

Ilford Recorder – Two men wanted in connection with Seven Kings Sikh temple [gurdwara] break in

Police are searching for two men following a break in at a Sikh temple [gurdwara] in Seven Kings.

Aaron Walawalkar

Ilford-Greater London-UK, 25 January 2018. Two men are reported to have broken in to Gurdwara Singh Sabha, in High Road, at around 2 am this morning.

CCTV footage seen by the temple’s [gurdwara] staff reportedly shows two men breaking a window near the temple’s washing room and entering the building.

They are later seen attempting to take money from a collection box known as a “Golak” where passersby can leave donations.

It has not yet been determined if any money was stolen.

Balbir Singh, treasurer, said: “Fortunately, it seems that this time we may have gotten off lightly.”

The last time the temple was broken into was six years ago.

Police were called to the scene at approximately 5.40am. They have made no arrests and enquiries continue.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the attack should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.