April 15, 2015 | By Sikh Information Center
Background of Ravinderjit Singh Gogi’s Imprisonment:
Ravinderjit Singh Gogi is an American citizen who has been unjustly jailed in Ludhiana Jail in Punjab, India since February 26.
Gogi lives in Lathrop, CA, located in the 11th congressional district, which is represented by Congressman Jerry McNerney.
Gogi is charged with India’s Criminal Procedure Code sections 107/151, which allow police to arrest a person if they think he is “likely to commit a breach of the peace.” Gogi did NOT actually breach the peace. Instead, police used the law to arrest him under suspicion alone after he visited his father, Surat Singh Khalsa, in the hospital. Khalsa was engaged in a political hunger-strike at the time. Gogi wanted to be with his frail father, whose health was declining dangerously.
Ravinderjit Singh Gogi is a family man. He has a wife and five children in California. He also has extended family, including sisters, living legally in the USA.
His 16-year-old son, Sahib, says his father’s imprisonment is causing hardship for the family.
Gogi is also a small businessowner and a respected figure in California’s Sikh-American community. The elected presidents of Stockton Gurdwara and West Sacramento Gurdwara have both appealed for his release.
Gogi has been a U.S. citizen since 1996. He was traveling in India on a valid U.S. passport.
Gogi’s family says he is being detained in inhumane conditions, including being fed rancid food and being housed in communal beds built for 50 but packed with 200 prisoners.
On April 13, Gogi’s sister Sarvinder Kaur, also an American citizen, reported from Punjab that she witnessed police beating her brother while he was waiting in a detention cell for a court hearing. Gogi, who was in chains at the time, was reportedly shoved into the cell and beaten on his neck and back with fists. His attorney, Gurjinder Singh Sahni, states Gogi now has severe bruising, is suffering intense pain in his neck, and is seeking medical attention. On April 14, news reports stated police have denied a medical examination.
You Can Help By Calling Now
There is hope for his release if you act now.
Balbir Singh Dhillon, president of West Sacramento Gurdwara, was arrested and imprisoned in Punjab in a similar fashion in 1996. Dhillon says the only reason he was released was because of swift action from supporters back home. After his family and friends contacted the U.S. Congress, over 50 congressional representatives signed a letter to the State Department demanding his release.
The best way to help Ravinderjit Singh Gogi — and his father Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa — is to call the U.S. Congress today.
How To Call
Be respectful, polite, and brief.
1. First, call Gogi’s congressional representative, Jerry McNerney.
Say: “Hello, I am calling to ask you to demand the release of your constituent, Ravinderjit Singh Gogi, who is currently unjustly jailed in India. His family reported on April 13 he is being beaten in custody. Please sign a letter to the State Department asking for his release and do whatever else you can to bring him home safely and swiftly to his family here in California.”
2. Second, call your congressional representative.
Say: “Hello, I am a constituent. I am calling because I am concerned by the case of a Californian and U.S. citizen who is currently unjustly jailed in India. Mr. Ravinderjit Singh Gogi, a family man and small businessowner, has been behind bars in India for almost two months. His family reported on April 13 he is being beaten in custody. His representative is Congressman Jerry McNerney, and I am asking you to join Congressman McNerney is signing a letter to the State Department demanding Gogi’s immediate release.”
[Note: If your representative is not in the list below or you are not sure who your representative is, find out by looking up your zip code at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/]
3. Third, call the other local congressional representatives. Although they will prioritize the appeals of their own constituents, you can still call the office of any representative even if you are not a constituent.
Say: “Hello, I am calling because I am concerned by the case of a Californian and U.S. citizen who is currently unjustly jailed in India. Mr. Ravinderjit Singh Gogi, a family man and small businessowner, has been behind bars in India for almost two months. His family reported on April 13 he is being beaten in custody. You are a member of the American-Sikh Congressional Caucus and so I hope you will speak on behalf of this suffering Sikh-American. Gogi’s representative is Congressman Jerry McNerney, and I am asking you to join Congressman McNerney is signing a letter to the State Department demanding Gogi’s immediate release.”
ALL SEVEN CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES LISTED BELOW BELONG TO THE AMERICAN-SIKH CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS
Please Contact Gogi’s Congressional Representative First —
Rep. Jerry McNerney, 11th District (Stockton, Lodi, Antioch)
Phone: (209) 476-8552
Please Contact Other Local Congressional Offices —
Rep. Ami Bera, 7th District (Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova)
Phone: (916) 635-0505
Rep. John Garamendi, 3rd District (Davis, Fairfield, Yuba City)
Phone: (530) 753-5301
Rep. Tom McClintock, 4th District (Roseville, Auburn, Grass Valley)
Phone: (916) 786-5560
Rep. Doris Matsui, 6th District (Sacramento)
Phone: (916) 498-5600
Rep. Jeff Denham, 10th District (Modesto, Turlock)
Phone: (209) 579-5458
Rep. Mike Honda, 17th District (Fremont, Santa Clara, Newark)
Phone: (855) 680-3759
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