Senior AAP leader and Kharar MLA, Kanwar Sandhu has expressed doubts over the veracity of police claims of the involvement of Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi, a British national, in targeted killings in Punjab and has demanded that the Union government should intervene and a joint inquiry with the UK police should be conducted in the case.
Jaggi was arrested last Tuesday by the Punjab Police and is one of the prime accused in the murders of RSS leaders and leaders of other Hindu groups in the state. With the arrest of Jaggi, along with others, DGP Suresh Arora had declared the murders, including that of RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja, solved.
However, Kanwar Sandhu has questioned the police claim. In a detailed comment posted on his Facebook wall on Tuesday, he said that the allegations against Jaggi were not convincing. “I don’t know Jaggi Johal or his family personally, but on the face of it and having covered Punjab as a journalist for the past 35 years, I don’t find it convincing that a person from UK who comes here to get married would involved in the such matters here,” he said.
Sandhu said that the Union government must intervene and have a joint inquiry with UK Police into this episode.
“In case there is no substantial evidence against him, he should be freed and an apology tendered. In case, there is evidence of his involvement in the crime, the information should be shared with UK police and the government,” he said.
Stating that he has been “noticing the anger, especially among people in UK, over the arrest of Jagtar Singh Jaggi” in case of targeted killings in Punjab, Sandhu further said that he has been informed that a cross-party group of MPs of UK will be writing to the Indian government to free Johal. Sandhu said that that the case reminded him of the arrest of Amarjit Singh from Canada in 1980s in Bihar.
“Let us also not forget, Punjab Police still has certain elements who specialised in extra-judicial arrests and torture. Amarjit Singh was of course innocent, was released and is now a powerful federal minister in Canada,” he said.
Sandhu clarified his remarks by saying that it was understood that the targeted killings were an effort to disturb peace and Punjab Police were under tremendous pressure to resolve the cases. “It is satisfying that they have made some headway. But no innocent should be harassed, last of all a foreign national,” he said.
Jagtar Singh Johal was born to a Punjabi couple and brought up in United Kingdom and has been living in Glasgow
ever since. The Johal family has an ancestral home in Patti Gaggar Mohalla of Jandiala Manjki village of Jalandhar. His grand-aunt, Gurmesh Kaur, who lives in that house said that Jaggi got married on October 18 at Nakodar and was about to go to Singapore with his wife when the police arrested him.