India: British Tourist Arrested for ‘Influencing the Youth Through Social Media’

A British man that was holidaying in India has been arrested and detained, charged with “influencing the youth through social media,” said a Sikh group.

The Sikh Federation UK said that Jagtar Singh Johal is from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire. It was said that he a sack thrown over his head and was forced to go into a van by officers wearing plain-clothes on November 4.

The 30-year-old was reported to be out shopping with his wife and his cousin when the incident occurred in Jalandhar in the state of Punjab.

The crimes of Johal reportedly include “running a magazine” in the United Kingdom regarding the atrocities during the Sikh Genocide in  1984 and “influencing the youth through social media.”

His brother and local MP have requested British authorities to intervene on the issue.

Johal, who was recently married, is reported to have been in the country since 2nd of October for his wedding. The Sikh Federation said that his whereabouts and condition are still unknown.

Gurpreet Singh Johal, his elder brother, stated: “Unless the British authorities quickly step in this will guarantee a law-abiding British citizen will be illegally detained for some time and will not receive a fair trial. He should be immediately released and returned to the UK.”

The SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire, Martin Docherty-Hughes, has since been supporting the family.

He stated: “I am deeply concerned about the circumstances of Jagtar Singh Johal’s arrest and imprisonment in India. This has been an extremely distressing time for my constituent’s family, and I am doing everything in my power to support them as their Member of Parliament.

“The lack of information being given to Jagtar’s family by the police and judicial authorities in Delhi following his arrest is alarming. I have raised this as a matter of urgency with the British High Commission of India and the Foreign Office.

Docherty-Hughes continued: “I will also be contacting the Foreign Secretary and the Scottish Government to ensure that Jagtar and his family are not unfairly mistreated by the Indian authorities. This is an extremely serious matter, and I hope my constituents will be fully supported in their efforts to secure a positive outcome.”