The Johal family with supporters and Jackie Baillie, who raised the matter at Holyrood.

By Bill Heaney

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has promised the Scottish Government will take up the case of Dumbarton man Jagtar Singh Johal with the Foreign Secretary of the UK Government, Jeremy Hunt.

Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie told the Holyrood parliament that Oxhill Road resident Jagtar Singh Johal has spent more than 500 days detained in prison in the Punjab.

She added: “There have been accusations of torture and he has now faced his 77th pre-trial preliminary hearing.

Sturgeon Docherty Hughes and O'Hara 4“His MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes [SNP], is to be commended for pursuing the matter vigorously.”

She added: “Will the First Minister use her influence and speak to the Foreign Secretary and the United Kingdom Government to urge them to provide support and assistance to Mr Johal and his family?”

The First Minister, right, with Martin Docherty-Hughes and Brendan O’Hara,  thanked Jackie Baillie for raising the issue – “I know that she has raised it previously and she is right to say that Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has been assiduous in raising the rights and situation of his constituent.

“We have raised this issue and we will continue to do so. The Deputy First Minister [John Sweeney] has raised it directly with Indian ministers on recent visits to India and with the British high commission.

“I believe—although I will double-check this—that we have raised the issue directly with the Foreign Office. If not, I am happy to undertake that we will do so.”

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