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UK to raise concern over British Sikh held in Indian jail at senior levels

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The said today that it will raise concerns around the case of a British being held in a maximum-security jail in at "senior levels" in

The case of Jagtar Singh Johal, a 30-year-old British from Dunbarton in who is currently being held in on murder and conspiracy to murder charges, was raised as part of a debate in the today.

British MPs and along with Johal's local MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, asked the to raise the matter with during his visit to the UK for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) meeting next month.

Mark Field, in charge of and the Pacific in the (FCO), said he would "try" to see that happens, adding that he would "continue to raise this case at senior levels with Indian authorities".

He revealed that the had handled nearly 5,000 detentions involving British nationals abroad in the last year alone with"comprehensive, responsive" consular service and stressed that it is important that the of other countries are respected.

"as a partner in the Commonwealth and also as a partner in many other ways has a strong democratic framework which is designed to guarantee human rights. However, it also faces numerous challenges related to the size of development and when it comes to enforcing fundamental rights enshrined in its Constitution," Field said in his response to the debate entitled 'British Nationals Imprisoned Abroad'.

Gill, as for British Sikhs, had organised the debate in order to raise Johal's case.

She laid out the background to the case since Johal was arrested in in November last year, claiming that he had faced severe torture while in custody.

"Indian authorities have prevented Jagtar having private access to British consular staff," she said, adding that his case has become a "farcical trial by media".

Dhesi added: "It is incumbent on all us to stand for the human rights of all British citizens. The UK government's failure to condemn the series of abuses [against Johal] has left all British citizens travelling abroad vulnerable".

During the debate it emerged that Johal's MP, Docherty-Hughes, had spoken to the British High to India, Sir Dominic Asquith, and received an update on the case this week.

The maintains that "due process" is being followed in the case, which was last raised at a ministerial level during the UK visit of Indian for home Kiren Rijiju in January.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 00:45 IST