December 10, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: The campaigners of #FreeJaggiNow, an awareness campaign in support of arrested scottish citizen Jagtar Singh Jaggi, have maintained that the British consular staff were prevented again on Dec 7 from meeting in private with Jagtar Singh Johal.
In a written release issued on Friday (Dec. 8) the Sikh Federation UK, an organisation of Sikhs in Britain, said “[d]espite discussions with his counterpart Boris Johnson’s efforts have to date proved ineffective in gaining unfettered access to a British citizen since his abduction some five weeks ago on 4 November 2017”.
“Jagtar has therefore been deliberately prevented by his abusers from spelling out first hand to British consular staff the torture, abuse and mistreatment he has experienced at the hands of the Indian police and been repeatedly denied an independent medical assessment”, said Gurjeet Singh, Press secretary of Sikh Federation UK.
“Instead many have today (Dec. 8) watched a leading Indian TV channel in disbelief that shockingly showed extracts from Indian police interviews of Jagtar that you would assume would be classified and confidential. The interviews have been leaked to the Indian media in an attempt to demonise and put at risk other British Sikhs and their families who have been named by Jagtar.
In these police interviews Jagtar’s honesty, openness and innocence comes across as he describes in detail how he became interested in telling the story of atrocities committed by the Indian authorities in the 1984 Sikh Genocide”, he added.
“As Jagtar was giving police interviews as opposed to interviews that would be leaked by the police to the TV channels he specifies what he did in the way of research and translations for the Never Forget 84 website and those he met and communicated with as part of his research”, said Gurjeet Singh.
Bhai Narinderjit Singh, the General Secretary of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “Surely the police should be investigating and presenting hard evidence in court rather than adding to this shambolic circus of a trial by media that was started by the Chief Minister of Punjab and the Director General of Police.”
“Despite repeated claims of a confession and substantial evidence being available the footage of Jagtar that has been released does not suggest any crime has been committed.”
“This information that has been released would not stand up in a court of law and is now inadmissible.”
“These tactics of the police smack of desperation in an attempt to try and discredit Jagtar and cause confusion by implying he is spilling the beans on others.”
The news segment by India Today shocked many as it falsely showed alongside Jagtar’s interviews images of somebody the Indian government claim to be a Pakistani ISI officer posing for photos with several Sikhs described as “Khalistani terrorists”, he added.
@IndiaToday & @gauravcsawant investigative skills (lies) only match @PunjabPolice The ‘Pakistan ISI officer’ pictured yesterday in their exclusive with various Sikhs is Ihsan H. Nadiem, a Pakistani archaeologist, museologist, author and poet. Fake news India style. #FreeJaggiNow pic.twitter.com/YiQlw9KVMv
— Sikh Federation UK (@SikhFedUK) December 8, 2017
“However, the Indian media has been exposed for fabrication. The person described by the Indian government as an ISI officer is Ihsan H. Nadiem, a Pakistani archaeologist, museologist, author and poet. This is a major embarrassment for the Indian authorities. Several of the British Sikhs pictured and falsely described as “Khalistani terrorists” alongside those demonised via the inappropriate release of extracts of Jagtar’s confidential police interviews are expected next week to raise official complaints about the Indian authorities to the Foreign Office via their MPs”, read a release issued by Sikh Federation UK.
“This latest outrageous tactic used by the Indian authorities is expected to badly backfire as pressure will now come from half a dozen different MPs on the need for the UK Government to take a tough stand. The family of Jagtar will now be demanding the Foreign Office issue a strongly worded public statement challenging the false narrative to date by the Indian authorities and stopping them spreading misinformation”, it reads further.