November 20, 2017 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh: The Punjab government has once again targeted Canadian Sikh politician Jagmeet Singh. Jagmeet Singh, who is president of Canada’s third largest political party called National Democratic Party (NDP), is known for raising human rights issues and also for voicing concerns for recognition of the fact of Sikh genocide 1984.
Though various politicians of England and Canada, related to various parties, have raised their concerns over the reports of alleged custodial torture of an arrested Scottish citizen but the Punjab police picked up only Jagmeet Singh when to broke silence over the issue.
Notably, Punjabi singer turned actor Diljit Sosanjh and Aam Aadmi Party Punjab chief and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann have also expressed concern over the reports of torture of Jagtar Singh Jaggi.
In a written statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations (Punjab) the Punjab police announced to ‘categorically reject Canada’s NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s allegations of torture of British national Jagtar Singh Johal‘. Punjab police said that ‘due process of law was followed at every stage, with the accused allowed access to his counsel and family members, as also a team from the UK High Commission‘.
The statement issued on Sunday (Nov. 19) the Punjab police said: “Besides being allowed to talk to his family members after his arrest, Jaggi was produced before a Judicial Magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest as laid down under the Criminal Procedure Code. The British High Commission was duly informed about the arrest of Jaggi, whose medical examination was also conducted as required under the procedure“.
It is notable that various Canadian and U. K. politicians have been raising concerns since the reports of custodial torture of Jagtar Singh Jaggi came in public domain through media. Jaggi’s local MP Martin Docherty had raised the issue in British parliament urging British foreign secretary to take appropriate steps to safeguard the rights of his constituent. British Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill and the leader of the British Labour Party Tom Watson also raised their concerns.
Canadian MP Cheryl Hardcastle also raised her concerns about reports of torture of Jagtar Singh Jaggi and shared a copy of letter she wrote to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chrystia Freeland requesting that the Canadian government help uphold the basic human rights.
Canada’s New Democrats have joined parliamentarians across the globe in voicing our concerns regarding allegations of torture experienced by Jagtar Johal. Here is our letter calling on MIN Freeland to offer Canada’s support to our counterparts in the UK, immediately. pic.twitter.com/CvqKVz43Sx
— Cheryl Hardcastle (@CHardcastleNDP) November 16, 2017
— Martin Docherty (@MartinJDocherty) November 17, 2017
Canadian Ministers Amarjit Sohi expressed concerns over reports of torture of Jagtar Singh Jaggi. His concerns were louded by Canadian Defence Minister Harjeet Sajjan.
From my own experience, everyone should have access to human rights and a fair trial. I have great sympathy for Jagtar Singh Johal.
— Amarjeet Sohi (@SohiAmarjeet) November 17, 2017
I echo my colleague’s comments and am greatly concerned about these reports. Human Rights need to be respected. https://t.co/6vmSboFv8O
— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) November 17, 2017
Jagmeet Singh has joined the issue by sharing a news reported by BBC over twitter, adding that “even the allegation of torture should rattle a lover of democracy & human rights to their inner most core”. “That’s why reports of torture, including electrocution, of Jagtar Singh Johal by Indian Authorities is deeply chilling & requires immediate attention”, he added.
The statement issued by the Punjab police ignored all other foreign politicians and named only Jagmeet Singh. Moreover, a bare reading of tweet of Jagmeet Singh makes it clear that he was not making any allegations, rather he was commenting on what was already being reported by international media.
Even the allegation of torture should rattle a lover of democracy & human rights to their inner most core
That’s why reports of torture, including electrocution, of Jagtar Singh Johal by Indian Authorities is deeply chilling & requires immediate attention https://t.co/HUxl6eSpzd
— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) November 16, 2017
It may also be mentioned here that Congress Party’s chief in Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh was not allowed by the Canadian authorities to campaign in Canada before 2017 assembly elections in Punjab. After assuming office of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh has been repeatedly targeting Canadian Sikh politicians whom he seem to hold responsible for ‘blocking his entry’ to Canada.
Brief Response from Jagtar Singh Jaggi’s Lawyer:
On being asked to respond to statement of the Punjab police strongly refuting allegations of torture of Jagtar Singh Jaggi, Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur briefly said that Jaggi was arrested on November 4 but daily legal access was granted only on November 14.
“On our request, the court of Baghapurana granted permission of meeting on daily basis. Before that we had no legal access to Jagtar Singh”, Advo. Jaspal Singh Manjhpur maintained.
“Even the officials of British High Commission who had come to see Jagtar Singh Jaggi on November 10 were not allowed by the police to meet him and the High Commission officials met him only on November 16”, he added.
“Jaggi was tortured by the police for 3 days during the detention before Nov. 10. But he could reveal this fact only on November 14 when I met him in Baghapurana court. If there was no torture why the police objected to our application seeking independent medical examination” he asked.
He said that he would soon issue detailed response as he was to attend the court appearance of Sikh political prisoner Harminder Singh Mintoo at Jalandhar.
Related Topics: Capt. Amarinder Singh, Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Jagmeet Singh NDP, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi (UK), Jaspal Singh Manjhpur (Advocate), NDP, Preet Kaur Gill, Punjab Police, Punjab Politics, Sikh Diaspora, Sikh News Canada, Sikh News UK, Sikh Political Prisoners, Sikhs in Canada, Sikhs in United Kingdom, Tom Watson