The wife of a Dumbarton man imprisioned in India has made a desperate plea to the UK government to urgently secure his release on the fourth anniversary of his detention.

Jagtar Singh Johal, also known as Jaggi, was arrested on November 4, 2017 after travelling to the Punjab for his wedding, with local media linking his detention to the killing of Hindu leaders in the area.

The Sikh Federation (UK) says Mr Singh Johal was abducted by Indian plain clothes police while shopping with his wife Gurpreet Kaur.

Mr Singh Johal's family and campaigners have repeatedly raised concerns that he has been tortured and mistreated by Indian authorities.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, made public on Thursday to mark exactly four years since her husband’s detention, Mrs Kaur Johal pleaded for the government to intervene in Mr Singh Johal’s case.

She said: “Today marks four years since that terrifying day when the police snatched and kidnapped Jaggi from my arms. I still have nightmares of that day and the subsequent torture of Jaggi.

“The UK Government must listen and act to secure the release and return of my husband after four years of incarceration.

“We were hopeful all charges would be dropped against Jagtar at the last hearing in October 2021, but the case was adjourned once again until January 2022, as the Indian authorities were unable to produce any evidence in court.

“All I want and pray for is that my husband comes back home and we can start our life together, but I worry for his and my mental and physical health due to all this suffering.”

Mrs Kaur Johal also asked for a face-to-face meeting with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, adding: “I need Liz Truss, as the Foreign Secretary and as a wife, to look me in the eye and tell me when I will be reunited with my husband.

“I am suffering in silence and finding it difficult to continue. I want her to meet with me so she can hear about my pain.”

West Dunbartonshire's SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has actively been campaigning for Jaggi's release. 

He tweet said: "The cross-party #FreeJaggiNow campaign calls for justice & due process. After 1,462 days it's time to bring an end to Jagtar's arbitrary detention."



He also raised the issue in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, telling MPs in the House of Commons: “The Prime Minister is very much aware of my constituent Jagtar Singh Johal, who was abducted by plain clothes officers while shopping with his new wife in the city of Jolanda, Punjab on the fourth of November.

“The intervening years, Mr Speaker, have seen allegations of torture overlooked, and ostensibly strong words from his government about the case overshadowed by excitement over a trade deal with the Republic of India.

“Therefore, Mr Speaker, as we approach the fourth anniversary of Jagtar’s arrest tomorrow, with no charges having been brought in the case by the government of India, will this government be able to grant the smallest of favours to Jagtar’s wife and his family in Dumbarton and declare his detention an arbitrary one?"

In response, Boris Johnson said: “Mr Speaker, I thank him for the campaign that he’s been running for a long time. And what I would say to him is that the closeness of our relationship with India in no way diminishes our willingness to raise that case with the government of India.

“Indeed, the Foreign Secretary raised it only the last time she was in India.”