June 15, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Whereas the Indian authorities, including the Punjab Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), face allegations of denying private access to British High Commission to arrested Briton Jagtar Singh Jaggi; the British authorities have virtually denied opportunity to Jagtar Singh Jaggi’s family to meet their lawyer in UK to discuss the course of Jaggi’s defence.
It is learnt that Jagtar Singh Jaggi’s brother Gurpreet Singh had sponsored a proposed visit of Jagtar Singh Jaggi’s lawyer Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur to UK. In a letter to British authorities Jaggi’s brother had given details of his brother’s arrest, detention and torture in India and maintained that it was not safe for him or his family members to visit the Indian subcontinent to meet the lawyer.
As a part of immigration formalities he had taken all sort of responsibility of the legal counsel’s visit to UK. Gurpreet Singh had detailed in his letter that the meeting was meant to discuss the course of legal defence of Jagtar Singh Jaggi, who is booked by the Punjab police and NIA in various cases in Punjab involving notorious UAPA law and departed procedure.
But the UK authorities have denied the Jagtar Singh Jaggi’s brother and family in UK the opportunity to meet Jaggi’s lawyer.
Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur confirmed that he was denied visa by British High Commission in India.
“Surprisingly, the British authorities have taken plea of their laughable observation that if granted visa, I won’t return form UK after the expiry of permissible period of stay”, said he.
He maintained that while denying the opportunity the British authorities have toed the line of the Indian state and they seem have acted under pressure of the Indian state.
“Whereas Indian state did not allow private access to British High Commission despite court directions in this regard; the British authorities deprived the opportunity to the family members of their citizen to discuss the details of their defence”, Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said.
“NIA has presented chargesheets in half a dozen cases against Jagtar Singh Jaggi. Remaining are likely to come up soon. Punjab police have also presented a chargesheet against him in Baghapurana case. Arguments on admissibility of these chargesheets is likely to begin after the courts resume functioning after vacations. So, it was important for Jagtar Singh Jaggi’s proper defence to hold discussions with his family members who do not want to travel to India out of fear of persecution”, he added.
“To my understanding UK authorities have themselves created hindrances for Jagtar Singh Jaggi and his family members to enable the legal team for ensuring proper legal defence and thereby jeopardised the process of ‘free and faire’ trial” he added.
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Related Topics: Human Rights, Indian State, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi (UK), Jaspal Singh Manjhpur (Advocate), Punjab Police, Redress, Sikh Federation UK, Sikh News UK, Sikh Political Prisoners, Sikhs in United Kingdom