RISHI Sunak is facing pressure to call for the release of a Scottish man believed to have been arrested on spurious grounds and tortured by Indian authorities.

Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, (known as Jaggi) was arrested in India and campaigners fighting for his release say he has been tortured while awaiting trial – an ordeal they calculate could take as long as 40 years based on the current rate of progress.

At a meeting of the charities Reprieve, Sikhs in Scotland and Redress, convened by West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes in Westminster on Tuesday, MPs of all parties including the SNP, the Conservatives, the LibDems and Labour were urged to put pressure on the Prime Minister to call for his release when he meets Indian premier Narendra Modi in September at the G20.

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Speaking at the meeting, Reprieve legal and policy officer Jack Steele said: “What we think might be useful in trying to get to move their position on Jagtar and make the clear call for his release in the next few months, is to take advantage of the G20 summit in New Delhi, which is happening from September 9 to 10.

“We very rarely get that sort of advance foresight of direct representation or opportunity for direct representation with the Indian Government and we’re hoping that we can build as much parliamentary pressure in the intervening months to try and get the Prime Minister to follow the published policy of the [Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office] to make a clear call for Jagtar’s release.

“As I said at the beginning, we think that’s the only way that the goalposts on Jagtar’s case can possibly be moved.”

The meeting was attended by supportive MPs including the SNP’s Alison Thewliss, Tory MP David Davis, Alistair Carmichael and Christine Jardine for the LibDems and Labour’s Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.

Responding to concerns raised at the meeting by Docherty-Hughes that the Prime Minister refused to stand up to India on the case because of the Government’s desire to seal a trade deal with India, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “We have a close relationship with India, we’re obviously keen to increase the number of trade deals we have around the world but I’m not going to get into specifics on that one ahead of the meeting later this year.”