A terror suspect from Smethwick who was arrested in Portugal is set to spend a further three weeks behind bars after Indian authorities asked for more time to build their case against him – adding to his family’s agony.
Paramjeet Singh Saini is fighting extradition to India where he faces murder and bombing charges. Authorities there allege he was involved in the killing of prominent Sikh politician Rulda Singh in the Punjab in 2009 and a series of bomb attacks in northwest India in 2010.
The delivery driver was detained by Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) officers at a hotel in the Algarve under an international arrest warrant for extradition issued by Interpol.
His case was due to be heard in Portugal on Monday but Indian authorities asked for a further 22 days to submit their evidence.
The delay means the father-of-four faces an anxious wait in custody to see what his future holds. His wife Pinky Kaur has pleaded with the UK government to intervene. She said she will never see her husband again if he is forced to return to India.
Mr Saini’s MP John Spellar has been left furious by the Mr Saini’s arrest and the subsequent delay in his case.
The MP for Warley said: “I understand the Indian government has been given extra time which quite frankly is ridiculous. If they have put out a warrant they should have got their story straight and sorted it out before that, certainly I’ll be raising that.”
The Indian authorities claim father-of-four Mr Saini, who came to the UK from India 13 years ago claiming political asylum, is a leading member of an outlawed Sikh separatist terror group Babbar Khalsa International.
British security agencies investigated the murder charges with the assistance of officers from the Punjab and Mr Spellar said no evidence was found.
He was angered that Interpol officers swooped on Mr Saini while he was holidaying with his family as he had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK until 2023.
The MP said Mr Saini faces ‘persecution and inhumane treatment’ if he is forced to return to India and says UK authorities must intervene.
Mr Spellar said: “It’s not just about the individual case, it’s the principal as well.
“He has been given protection by the British state and it is quite absurd. If the Indian government had a case they should have presented it to the British government. Clearly they have not got a case as they should have presented it to Portugal straight away. It is extremely unsatisfactory and Portugal ought to reflect on it pretty quickly.”
Sandwell Councillor Preet Gill said the battle to bring Mr Saini back to the UK would continue.
She said: “The allegations against him have already been investigated here so why wasn’t that evidence filed?
“Our campaign is still ongoing and we are looking at the ways forward now.
“This situation impacts anybody with refugee or asylum status.”