Mayor of Gravesham embroiled in mother's jailing for kidnap
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
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 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
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
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
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.
Mayor of Gravesham,
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, with five high priests from India who had
travelled to watch him being sworn in as Mayor
It is understood she has already lodged an appeal against her
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
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
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