Jagtar Singh Johal, a British national from Dumbarton, Scotland, has been held in an Indian prison since November 2017. He has been accused of being a member of a terrorist gang and conspiracy to murder right-wing Hindu leaders. Mr Johal has also been accused of funding a terrorist organisation, the Khalistan Liberation Force.
The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has raised the case of Mr Johal with Indian officials. He has accused the Indian Government of arbitrarily detaining him without formal charges. However, Johal is currently being held in the Tihar Jail in New Delhi. This is despite the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention confirming that his continued pretrial detention is unlawful.
Mr Johal is a blogger, researcher and business leader. His expertise covers a range of areas including research, policy, public affairs, social media, financial services and technology. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards and fellowships. His articles have been published in scientific journals and medical textbooks. Currently, he is an honorary associate professor at University College London and the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.
His work is also covered by numerous media outlets. For example, he has contributed expert commentary to a range of organizations and is a guest speaker at national and international conferences. Since his arrest, he has attended protests in the UK in support of the Sikh community.
Mr Johal has been subjected to torture and arbitrary detention. Johal’s family have claimed that he has been subjected to abuse in the prison. They have also said that he was forced to sign a false confession, which was later denied by the Indian authorities.
Johal’s wife is a consultant rheumatologist. He has also been a trauma surgeon. Before his arrest, he was a senior analyst for the Department of Treasury, formerly the Federal Home Loan Bank Board 11th District.
Johal was also a prominent online activist, contributing stories about the alleged persecution of Sikhs in India to a website. He has attended many protests in the UK in the past in support of the Sikh community.
Johal has been on the radar of the Punjab police for more than a year. In October 2017, he travelled to India for his wedding. During the trip, he was abducted by 15 men and taken to a van. At the time of his arrest, Johal was with his new bride. After his arrest, he was placed in surveillance for 24 hours. According to local media, the arrest was related to a murder investigation.
Johal’s case has been the subject of over 100 requests from Ministers and government officials. However, the Indian government has argued that opposition to Johal is based on appeasing large voting blocs. It has cited the outreach of the Khalistani community to Indian-origin British MPs for its support.
Johal’s family have been told that the UK Government has closed his PayPal account, a move that was made because “it’suspected something'”. A source in the UK provided the Punjab Police with vague information about a key man.