The verdict in the Harpreet Kaur case could not have come at a worse time for the youngest Indian-origin mayor in the United Kingdom,Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi. What started as a highly promising official tour in his native Punjab has been interrupted by huge embarrassment,as his mother Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi and uncle Paramjit Singh Raipur landed in jail on Friday,after being convicted along with former state cabinet minister Bibi Jagir Kaur,for causing the miscarriage of Bibis daughter Harpreet Kaur. The duo had been named as co-conspirators in the case.
Tanmanjeet,the mayor of the Gravesham Borough council in the south-east county of Kent,arrived in Punjab on March 26 along with a five-member official delegation. Out to improve ties between the Jalandhar and Gravesham municipal bodies,the UK delegation had signed an agreement with Jalandhar mayor Rakesh Rathore under the Town -Twining programme on Wednesday. Dhesi had even called on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to talk about the uniqueness of establishing links between Jalandhar and Gravesham on the business,culture,sports and other fronts.
Things changed for the young mayor,however,after his mother and uncle were convicted on March 30 in the midst of his official tour. On Saturday – a day after his mother landed in prison – the UK delegation skipped an event at the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Jalandhar that was meant to promote medical tourism in collaboration with Gravesham. Incidentally the mayors mother Dalwinder and uncle Paramjit Raipur are members of a trust that runs PIMS. While the official tour is scheduled to end in the first week of April,it is unclear whether Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi will attend any more events.