THE BROTHER of a woman slain in an honour killing has spoken of his struggle to make the British government fully investigate people of Indian origin who have been killed abroad.

Surjit Athwal, 26, who worked in Heathrow, was murdered in a conspiracy by her husband and mother-in-law, who believed that her upcoming divorce would bring shame to the family. In 1998, she was lured to India, where she was murdered and dumped in a river.

But at the conclusion of a nine-year police investigation, that was instigated partly due to pressure from Mrs Athwal’s brother, Jagdeesh Singh, 47, one of the founders of Slough’s Khalsa School, both her husband and mother-in-law were sentenced to life in prison.

Mr Singh is now working with Slough charity Jeena to pressure the UK government to improve the way it collaborates with Indian authorities when British-based relatives go missing there.

He had been left frustrated at how slow the British authorities were to act in his sister’s case.

Mr Singh said: “After that nine year agony, we have continued to pressure the government over the lack of diplomatic representations to the Indian government over missing nationals.

“I have drawn the comparison between British people held or killed in other countries, like Lucy Blackman in Japan, where the government has moved promptly and made strong representations, while they chose to ignore my sister’s case, and other cases in India. Families are left in chaos, wondering if anyone is going to pursue it.

“We are calling for a code of practice - a checklist for the government to follow in these cases. Have they called for an investigation, is there co-operation? Every public department must treat others equally, but the British government has never done this in respect to British nationals being killed or imprisoned abroad.”

He added: “Outsourced murder is a serious issue in Britain’s four million South Asian population.”

Rani Bilkhu, founder of Jeena, said: “We’re seeing an increase in women who have been sent abroad only to have their passport and documents taken away - that’s an easier way of disposing of someone. We need to start talking to communities about the consequences of these actions.”