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Sting uncovers how rogue British lawyers coach Indian illegal migrants to pretend they are Khalistani to obtain asylum

LONDON: A British newspaper investigation has uncovered how illegal Indian immigrants in the UK are being “coached” by numerous rogue lawyers in Britain to pretend they are Khalistani to make fake asylum claims.

The Daily Mail visited a string of law firms with an undercover reporter posing as an Indian national who had arrived in the UK illegally on a small boat looking for work.

He was told that the lawyers “would make it appear he feared for his life in India”, saying this could done by him claiming “anti-government political allegiances”, a “love affair with someone from the wrong caste” or “being gay”.
By far the most frequent suggestion made to the Daily Mail reporter, posing as a farmer from Punjab, with his UK-based uncle, was to pretend to be a supporter of Khalistan.

One lawyer, charging £5,500 cash, told him to claim he had participated in the farmers’ agitation, that“someone invited him to join Amritpal Singh”, and that they started a movement for Khalistan and now he fears the Indian security agencies are after him and “he fears assassination in India”. The lawyer said he had a good success rate with such back stories, and when the undercover reporter offered to provide a video of “people in turbans” at the farmers’ protest to pretend it was him, the lawyer was fine with it.

In another case, the Daily Mail quoted a lawyer as telling the farmer: “You can say that the Indian government accused you of being pro-Khalistani, you were taken into custody, arrested and sexually tortured,” he said. In the elaborate story he conjured up, he went on: “That’s why you couldn’t marry and you wanted to commit suicide.” He said he could say his parents bribed prison guards to get him released from jail and paid a people smuggler to take him to France where he was forced to work on a building site and to clean the toilets of a brothel. Continuing with the fantasy, he said the farmer could say smugglers threatened to kill his family back in Punjab unless the fee to smuggle him was paid.” This lawyer, who charged a £10,000 fee, stressed the reporter must claim to be pro-Khalistani — even if he did not support Khalistan — as that way he “would win the case”. He also gave the reporter a packet of anti-depressants to prove he was depressed and said he could obtain a psychiatric report for him.

Up to 40 law firms are believed to be being monitored by the UK authorities amid suspected asylum claim abuses.
UK prime minister Rishi Sunak tweeted the story saying: “The Labour Party, a subset of lawyers, criminal gangs — they’re all on the same side, propping up a system of exploitation that profits from getting people to the UK illegally”.

But his comments came under fire from the Bar Council with its vice-chair, Sam Townend KC, saying: “This damaging rhetoric undermines the rule of law, trust in lawyers and confidence in the UK legal system.”
A spokesperson for the Solicitors Regulation Authority said: “If we find evidence that solicitors or firms we regulate have acted in ways that contravene our rules, we will take action.”

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