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The Punjabi wife of Jagtar Singh Johal — the Scottish Sikh incarcerated in Tihar Jail in Delhi accused of involvement in murders of right-wing politicians — has been granted permission to stay in the UK after winning an appeal against the UK home office.

Gurpreet Kaur (32) has been living in Dumbarton, Scotland, with the family of Jagtar — known as Jaggi — since April 2019. She arrived on a one-month “outside of immigration rules” visa, which is given in exceptional circumstances.

After Jaggi’s cases were transferred from Punjab to Delhi, Jaggi’s brother, Gurpreet Singh Johal, a solicitor in immigration and asylum, submitted an application for leave to remain so that she could continue to live with his family in Dumbarton. This was prior to the expiry of her visa.

On January 18 the home office had turned down the application saying it did not meet immigration rules and there were no exceptional circumstances. The family instructed immigration solicitor Damir Duheric who lodged an appeal on January 22.

The appeal was heard at the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in Glasgow on October 15, three days before the couple’s third wedding anniversary.
A judgment overturning the home office decision was sent to Duheric by email on Thursday.

“With this decision, a new energy has been installed. I will not stop until my brother is back home where he belongs” an elated Gurpreet Singh Johal told TOI. “I have been utterly disappointed with the UK government as they have contributed to the unnecessary ordeal we have been subjected to. The granting of the visa was within the UK government’s control but they chose to frustrate the family. I am grateful for the immigration judge’s decision as he considered the evidence and Jagtar’s plight when allowing the appeal. The continued support from the community and my peers has been immense.”

Gurpreet was shopping with her husband in Rama Mandir on November 4, 2017, just weeks after they tied the knot, when Jaggi was hooded and forced into a police van by plainclothes policemen. At the time of his arrest, the newlyweds were staying with Jaggi’s paternal grandmother in a village in Jalandhar.

The chargesheet alleges Jaggi paid Rs 2.7 lakh to the late Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo in France in 2013 to execute the killing of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain in October 2017. KLF was banned in India in 2018. Jaggi denies the charges.

“The home office could have withdrawn the decision and saved Jagtar’s wife from going through the immigration appeal ordeal. However, they chose not to do so and subjected her to questioning.

Jagtar’s brother was also a witness and was subjected to questioning,” the family said in a statement. “Jagtar supports his wife’s application to remain in the UK. The UK government continues to frustrate the family despite claiming to be supporting Jagtar and his family.”

The home office has 14 days to appeal the decision on an error of law or grant the visa in line with the judge’s decision.