Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has vowed to review the UK Government's involvement in the case of a Scot who has been held in an Indian prison for more than six years to "make sure we are doing the right thing".

On his first visit to Scotland since becoming Foreign Secretary, he met the family of Jagtar Singh Johal.

Mr Johal, from Dumbarton, Scotland, was in Punjab in northern India for his wedding in 2017 when his family said he was arrested and bundled into an unmarked car.

He is said to have been tortured, including with electric shocks, and faces the death penalty as a result of his campaigning for Sikh rights.

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When Lord Cameron returned to politics last November, after being appointed Foreign Secretary, Mr Johal's family said they were hopeful he could make a difference.

His brother, Gurpreet Singh Johal, said at the time: "We're hopeful that the sixth foreign secretary after six years might do something that the other foreign secretaries have failed to do."

After a "very important meeting" with the family on Monday, Lord Cameron stressed he was taking the case "incredibly seriously".

The Herald: Jagtar Singh Johal is in prison in India facing the death penalty. Photo PA.

Speaking as he visited the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office building in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, he said he would review the action taken so far, but stopped short of calling for Mr Johal to be released.

Lord Cameron said: "As Foreign Secretary I have looked at the case, examined all the paperwork.
"I wanted to meet there with the family and hear from them what they think. And I want to really stress, as an incoming foreign secretary, you don't just accept what the Government has said up to now, you really look at it, really ask the questions.

"And meeting with the family today is going to help me to go back and ask those questions all over again to make sure we're doing the right thing for this British citizen."

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While not calling for Mr Johal to be released, Lord Cameron said: "The Indian government has got to speed up this case."

He added: "What I have said to the family is I am going to go back to my office and look at the paperwork all over again.

"I am going to take into account what they have said and see whether there is a different approach we should be taking.

"I've made absolutely no promises that it will be different, but what I have said is I take these cases very seriously.

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"I am going to re-examine everything and make sure we are doing the right thing.

"That's what you should always do, whether it is someone who has been taken hostage, whether it is someone who is in prison."

Dabinderjit Singh, principal adviser at the Sikh Federation (UK), however, claimed that UK foreign secretaries had so far "failed" to take the "tough action" needed in this case, adding that the "jury is out" on whether Lord Cameron will have an impact.

Commenting after the meeting, Mr Singh said: "Jagtar's family not only deserve answers from David Cameron to justify the UK Government approach to a British national being tortured and arbitrarily detained for over six years in an Indian jail, they also need a new strategy to secure his speedy release and return to Scotland to be with his family.

"Jagtar's MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes has been doing a fantastic job to raise his case at every opportunity, but the UK Government has failed for over six years to take the tough action the Foreign Minister promised in the UK Parliament within weeks of his abduction and torture.

"The British Sikh community and the wider British public expect better from the UK Government to protect British nationals.

"The jury is out if David Cameron can do the decent thing by using his experience to secure Jagtar's release where other Foreign Secretaries and PMs have failed."

Speaking in East Kilbride, Lord Cameron also said Israel should "stop and think seriously" before taking further action in Rafah in the south of Gaza.

The town was hit by airstrikes overnight, with Israel signalling its intention to carry out a ground offensive in the area.

Lord David Cameron said many of the people in Rafah had already fled from other areas and said it is "impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people, there is nowhere for them to go".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said they were "deeply concerned" about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah.

The town, on the border with Egypt, is one of the few regions not yet targeted by an Israeli ground offensive and is providing refuge to more than half of Gaza's 2.3 million population who have fled fighting elsewhere.

Also on Monday, the Foreign Office sanctioned four Israeli settlers accused of committing human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Announcing the restrictions, the Foreign Office said Israel's "failure to act" had led to "an environment of near total impunity for settler extremists", with violence in the West Bank reaching record levels in 2023.

Speaking to reporters in East Kilbride, Scotland, Lord Cameron said: "We are very concerned about what is happening in Rafah because, let's be clear, the people there, many of whom have moved four, five, six times before getting there.

"It really, we think, is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people, there is nowhere for them to go.

"They can't go south into Egypt, they can't go north and back to their homes because many have been destroyed.

"So we are very concerned about the situation and we want Israel to stop and think seriously before it takes any further action.

"But above all, what we want is an immediate pause in the fighting. We want that pause to lead to a ceasefire, a sustainable ceasefire without a return to further fighting. That is what should happen now.

"We need to get those hostages out, including the British nationals. We need to get the aid in. The best way to do that is to stop the fighting now and turn that into a permanent, sustainable ceasefire."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We are obviously deeply concerned about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah.

"Over half of Gaza's population are sheltering there and that crossing is vital to ensuring aid can reach the people who desperately need it."

It comes as 21 different agencies and organisations have written to the Prime Minister urging him to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the offensive in Rafah, as well as the suspension of all arms export licences for sales Israel.

The list of signees includes ActionAid UK, Cafod, Christian Aid and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said sending troops into Rafah is necessary to eliminate Hamas.

He announced on Friday that he had asked the military to prepare to enter Rafah and evacuate hundreds of thousands of people.