UK PM acknowledges Sikh activist Johal’s detention in India as arbitrary

London, July 04 (KMS): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged the arbitrary detention of Scotland-based Sikh activist, Jagtar Singh Johal by the Indian government for the first time.

Boris Johnson in a letter to the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said that Johal has been arbitrarily detained by the Indian government without any formal charges being levied against him.

He claimed the issue has been raised almost 100 times with the Indian government; by Johnson to Prime Minister Modi himself as well as by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

Ever since his arrest, the sizable Sikh communities in Dunbarton, as well as Sikhs in other parts of the world, have called for his release. Over the years, allegations of torture and custodial violence, coerced confessions and more violations have surfaced.

The Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council on Arbitrary Detention had published a report detailing Johal’s case. The report states that Johal’s detention is arbitrary and deprivation of liberty of Johal and violation of numerous provisions in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Jagtar Singh is a victim of religious bigotry and racism. He has become a whipping boy for extreme Hindu nationalism. He has been targeted by Indian authorities due to his Sikh faith and his online activism highlighting the historical persecution of Sikhs in Punjab.

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