Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 10:00, 12 April 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
Exclusive by Rachel Hovenden
The Mayor of Gravesham was forced to break from a twinning visit after his mother was jailed for kidnap and forcing an abortion on a teenage mother, who later died.
Cllr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said he fully supports Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, and she will be appealing against her conviction.
In a statement, he said he was relieved he was able to see her after she was jailed along with his uncle in India for kidnap and forcing a girl to abort her four-and-a-half-month foetus.
Cllr Dhesi happened to be in the country along with a delegation from Gravesham council as part of a twinning visit to the Punjab.
The jail sentence was handed down as Cllr Dhesi, who became the UK’s youngest Sikh mayor in May last year, visited Jalandhar with four other members of the council including Gravesham council leader Cllr John Burden, as part of a five-day trip to strengthen relationships with the borough’s twin town.
The delegation had signed an agreement formally linking the city of Jalandhar with the borough on Wednesday, March 28, under the town twinning programme, according to the Hindustan Times.
Then on Friday, March 30, media in India reported that Cllr Dhesi’s mother, Dalwinder Kaur Dhesi, and uncle Paramjit Singh Raipur, were jailed for five years for the kidnap of Harpreet Kaur, 19, in 2000 and their part in the alleged forced abortion of her child.
They were jailed alongside Jagir Kaur, who Indian media reported was the dead 19-year-old’s mother and a member of the Punjab government, and Nishan Singh, said to be Jagir Kaur’s bodyguard.
Kaur was also a friend of Cllr Dhesi’s mother.
On Sunday, April 1, Cllr Dhesi visited his mother in prison, shortly before he flew back to the UK.
It is understood she has already lodged an appeal against her conviction.
Cllr Dhesi said: “Obviously I support my mother and my family and I was relieved to have been allowed to see her briefly before we returned. I cannot comment further on the case while an appeal is pending.”
A council spokesman added: “There will be no further statements until the appeal is concluded.”
Cllr Dhesi’s father Jaspal Singh Dhesi, husband of Dalwinder, is president of Gravesend’s £14m Shri Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Guru Nanak Marg, Gravesend.
Cllr Dhesi’s mother had spent most of her childhood in Gravesend and the family moved back to the area after spending some time in Slough.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.