Man released by immigration officials thanks people of Glasgow

Lakhvir Singh and Sumit Sehdev were released by officers after protesters blocked the van in Pollokshields.

One of the men detained by immigration officials for eight hours has thanked the people of Glasgow for their support following his release.

Lakhvir Singh, a mechanic, and Sumit Sehdev, a chef, were held in a Border Force van after a raid on a property in Pollokshields on Thursday.

Crowds quickly moved to block the van from leaving Kenmure Street before police were called in and surrounded the vehicle.

The men have been in the UK for the last decade, but are still without leave to remain status.

In a statement released just after 5pm, Police Scotland confirmed that the men would be released and urged the crowd to disperse.

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Singh, who is from India, expressed his gratitude for those who joined the protest.

“I was taken unannounced from my flat. They barged in and too me into the van,” he explained.

“I was anxious and upset, wondering how I would be treated at a detention centre.”

Mr Singh continued: “I’m so happy that my fate brought me to live here in Glasgow where the people are so connected that they will come out onto the street to help one of their own.”

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar negotiated with police over the release of the men and led them out of the van.

“This was a cynical and provocative action by the Home Office to do it on the day of Eid,” Mr Anwar said.

“To be honest, they don’t give a damn about the lives of these people, the people of Glasgow do.

‘This city is built on the backs of refugees, people who’ve given blood, sweat and tears to build this city.’

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar

“This city is built on the backs of refugees, people who’ve given blood, sweat and tears to build this city.

“So, we do have those proud traditions and we stand firmly with these men.”

A UK Home Office statement said that the operation was conducted in relation to suspected immigration offences.