May 7, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: The charges presented against British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal before an Indian court on May 3 are compromised by the strong allegations that he has suffered severe torture while in the custody of the Indian police, says human rights group REDRESS.
Jagtar Singh, otherwise known as “Jaggi”, from Dumbarton, asserts that from 4 to 7 November, shortly after his arrest in a street in India, police tortured him by applying electric shocks to his ears, nipples and genitals, forcing his limbs apart, and sleep deprivation.
“Jagtar Singh’s lawyers in India report that at a secret court hearing on 10 November, witnesses observed that he had severe difficulty standing or walking, and had to be assisted as he entered and left the room”, reads the statement issued by REDRESS.
“Jagtar Singh has still not been granted an independent medical examination, six months after the alleged torture, despite repeated requests by his lawyers. As far as REDRESS is aware India has taken no steps to investigate the allegations”, the statement reads further.
“There are extremely serious allegations that Jagtar has been tortured. The Government of India needs to investigate these allegations immediately to ascertain what happened to him. Any evidence obtained through torture cannot be used by the court,” said Rupert Skilbeck, Director of REDRESS.
Skilbeck added: “If Jagtar has indeed been tortured, the credibility of the entire legal process against him is undermined. This is why it is crucial that he is given an independent medical examination and that an immediate investigation into the allegations of torture is opened.”
REDRESS and Ensaaf filed an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in December 2017, urging him to call on India to protect Jagtar from any further torture and ill-treatment and to investigate the serious allegations of torture.