A LOCAL court Tuesday extended the police custody of a UK national, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi, one of the arrested accused in a series of targeted killings in Punjab, for three days. The police had sought extension of his remand for 10 days, claiming that his passport was yet to be recovered.
Meanwhile, Johal’s lawyer Jaspal Singh Manjhpur submitted an application in the court alleging that his client was being subjected to “third degree torture.” He alleged that Jagtar was being given “electric shocks” and demanded that a medical examination be conducted.
The court has asked state to file a reply on the application by November 17. He added that the police claim that they were yet to recover his passport was “false.” “We have submitted a receipt from the British High Commission in New Delhi which says his passport has already been submitted to them on November 8,” he claimed.
The court directed the police to coordinate with the British High Commission in Delhi and verify if they were in possession of Johal’s passport. Meanwhile, the court also allowed Johal to meet his in-laws and maternal aunt.
In a press statement, Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), an organisation for Sikhs working in the UK, said, “We are profoundly troubled to learn he (Johal) has had his legs pulled apart and electric shocks have been applied. In our view this is to allow the police to continue with their brutal torture to try and extract a false confession in the absence on any evidence against Jagtar Singh (Johal), who only visited Punjab this year to get engaged and married. His passport that has been lodged by the family with the British High Commission in Delhi proves he has not been to Pakistan as claimed by the police and the Chief Minister of Punjab.”
Johal, a UK national, has also found support from the first turbaned MP of Labour Party in the UK from Slough Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who tweeted seeking ‘just treatment’ for Johal Monday. A social media campaign ‘Free Jaggi Now’ has also been started by Sikh organisations in the UK. Johal was the second to be arrested in connection with the murders.