Your situation is “unique”, but you can’t live in Scotland, officials tell Jagtar Singh Johal’s wife

The visa refusal puts Jaggi's wife at risk and adds to the hardship already facing him and his Dumbarton family. Gurpreet, 31, who has never allowed her name to be reported in the media before, speaks on the record to THE NATIONAL

Jagtar (Jaggi) Singh Johal’s family have had to put their life on hold for over two years while their son, brother, uncle and husband remains imprisoned in India- Photo: The National
By Kirsteen Paterson | THE NATIONAL | SCOTLAND |

While he remains in a cell in Delhi, she has been refused the right to stay in Scotland with her in-laws.

She arrived in the UK last year for talks with then-foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and subsequently applied for permission to remain in the UK.

But last Saturday she received an official letter explaining that while she has a “unique” set of circumstances, officials will not allow her to live in Scotland.

That’s despite fears over her safety in India, where she wed Jagtar just two weeks before his November 2017 arrest.

Authorities said they had everything needed to convict him of involvement in an international conspiracy behind the assassination of the leader of right-wing Hindu group. Ravinder Gosain, head of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was shot dead by two armed attackers in October 2017.

But Jagtar, an internet marketer, denies funding any plot and his family believe he has been targeted over his nationality and blogging about the bloody pogroms of 1984, in which at least 2700 Indian Sikhs were killed.

More than two years and approaching 200 court appearances later, no evidence has been heard against the keep-fit fan and his claims of torture at the hands of Punjab police have never been assessed, despite pressure from the UN and international legal charity Redress.

A handwritten letter containing those claims also included alleged threats by authorities against Gurpreet. “Orders were given to arrest my wife”, Jaggi wrote, along with claims of electrocution and other violent treatment.

Gurpreet, 31, has never allowed her name to be reported in the media before. She has allowed the Sunday National to reveal her identity as she takes on the Home Office over her future and slams the UK Government for “not doing enough to help” her husband.

Gurpreet says Hunt gave her “hope” for progress, but the visa refusal puts her at risk and adds to the hardship already facing Jaggi and his Dumbarton family.

Gurpreet, who has asked us not to show her face, had been married for only two weeks when Jagtar was bundled into a vehicle by plain clothes police as they shopped in a Punjab town in November 2017.

The manner of the arrest meant relatives initially feared he had been abducted by a gang targeting Westerners.

Gurpreet says she does not want to live away from Jagtar, but his transfer to a prison eight hours from her home means staying in India is of little help to him.

Read the full story, ‘Westminster force visa battle on Jagtar Singh Johal’s wife’ (The National, 26 Jan 2020), go here.


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