DUMBARTON'S MP has accused the Prime Minister of treating a trade deal with India as more important than securing the release of a man from the town who is incarcerated in the country.

Jagtar Singh Johal – known as Jaggi – was arrested after his wedding in India in November 2017, accused of helping to fund a Sikh-on-Hindu assassination plot – something which he and his family strongly deny.

The 34-year-old has remained in detention without a trial ever since.

West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes hit out at the Prime Minister during an urgent parliamentary question tabled by the SNP.

He criticised Boris Johnson for failing to bring Mr Johal home following trade talks in India with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Mr Docherty-Hughes said: “Did the Prime Minister - not civil servants, not with a note - directly challenge Prime Minister Modi on the arbitrary detention of Jagtar Singh Johal who now faces a death penalty?” 

Foreign Minister Vicky Ford responded for the UK Government giving assurances that the Prime Minister did raise Mr Johal’s case during his visit to India.

It is believed that Boris Johnson handed over a note on consular cases to Prime Minister Modi.

Following on from his statement in the Commons Mr Docherty-Hughes added: "It’s a hammer blow for my constituents the Singh Johal family to see the Prime Minister prioritising a trade deal over the human rights of a British citizen from Dumbarton. 

“The long-term consequences of this for millions of UK citizens of Indian descent are also quietly terrifying: they will be wondering today if it will be their son grabbed off the street and hooded by unidentified Indian police; whether it will be their daughter who will be tortured in prison; or whether their children can be arbitrarily detained by the Indian government with no consequences to UK-India relations. 

“Instead of concentrating on getting a trade deal done by Diwali , the Prime Minister should be making sure that Jagtar Singh Johal is free by Diwali — and that he doesn't spend a sixth year in arbitrary detention." 

Labour MP Tan Dhesi also hit out at the Prime Minister for failing to update MPs personally after his trip to India, asking: “Why could he not be bothered to raise at the highest level the much publicised issues of human rights of minorities and the detention of British citizens?” 

Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael added: “When the Prime Minister raised the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, did he do so on the basis that for the past four years Mr Johal has been the victim of arbitrary detention?”

The Foreign Minister responded stating that the UK Government deplores the use of arbitrary detention and assured MPs that the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, would be meeting with the Johal family and Mr Docherty-Hughes in due course.