THE family of a Scottish man detained in India since 2017 fears he may die there as fresh accusations emerge.

Sikh blogger Jagtar Singh Johal has spent more than 1000 days in custody without trial over allegations of involvement in an international conspiracy linked to the drive for a separate Sikh state.

He was arrested shortly after his Indian wedding and no evidence has been led against him.

Now family in Dumbarton fear for his welfare after he was taken from his high-security jail over a fatal shooting that happened hundreds of miles away from his cell.

The 33-year-old was in a Delhi prison when a former anti-insurgency leader was shot by two men in October.

The incident happened more than 200 miles away from where the 33-year-old was being held.

His family understand that another of those held over the death of 62-year-old anti-insurgency figure Balwinder Singh Sandhu has implicated Johal, who is known to friends as Jaggi.

However, he has been allowed no direct communication with his family in months, either by phone or written message, and his contact with legal representatives and UK officials is limited. The family, including Johal’s solicitor brother Gurpreet, say he is innocent of all charges and would have no ability for involvement in crimes committed outwith custody.

And, after Johal provided written testimony of electrocution, death threats and other torture during his initial period of interrogation, the family have serious fears for his safety and wellbeing.

Gurpreet, who practices law in Glasgow, told The National: “He was tortured. Even if it’s not physical this time, the mental torture is going to be worse. We are concerned that the tactics are going to be to mentally drain him.

“They can do anything – with Covid, they can blame anything on that. We are genuinely scared for his life.

“We believe Jagtar is fully innocent and this is another fabricated case to prolong his detention.”

International organisation Redress is campaigning for Johal’s right to a fair trial and action over his torture claims. UN officials have also written to Indian authorities about these claims.

Johal, who traded rare Pokemon cards online and helped run his family’s takeaway while Gurpreet attended law school, was taken into custody shortly after his Punjab wedding. He was bundled into an unmarked van by plain clothed officers who did not identify themselves, and though authorities said they had all relevant evidence to charge him with financing an international assassination plot against right-wing Hindu figures, clear details are yet to emerge.

His wife, also called Gurpreet, is now in Scotland where she is seeking the right to remain with her in-laws, due to fears that she may become a target in her home country. Johal was able to speak with his legal advocate on Thursday – the day he was moved – asking him “what have I done? I have not done anything”.

His family, who say his blogging activity was limited to material related to the brutal anti-Sikh pogroms of the 1980s, are now awaiting updates from UK officials.

Last night Johal’s representative Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, convenor of the Panjaab Lawyers Organisation, took part in a livestream with

supporters of the #FreeJaggiNow campaign.