After Canada, 36 United Kingdom's Members of Parliament (MPs) across party lines - including some Indian origin legislators and others representing constituents with links to Punjab - led by the Labour Party have written to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, asking to raise the matter of farmers' protest the against the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi.
In a letter to UK Foreign Secretary, Labour Party MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said, "The introduction of these new laws by the Indian government has, despite the coronavirus, triggered widespread farmers' protests across the country for failing to protect farmers from exploitation and to ensure fair prices for their produce."
Farmers in the country are protesting against the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Dhesi, while raising the issue of farmers' protesting against the three new agricultural laws in the country, added, "This is an issue of particular concern to Sikhs in the UK and those linked to Punjab, although it also heavily impacts on other Indian states. Many British Sikhs and Punjabis have taken this matter up with their MPs, as they are directly affected by family members and ancestral land in Punjab. About three-quarters of the state's 30 million-strong population is involved in agriculture. Therefore, these new laws present the Punjabis with a huge problem, with some describing it as a 'death warrant'."
Dhesi, in a tweet, said, "Farmers from Punjab and across India are peacefully protesting against #FarmersBill2020. Following our October meet, further discussions and given a strong sense of injustice felt by many constituents, a cross-party letter from British MPs have been sent to the Foreign Secretary."
The Labour Party MP, in another tweet, wrote, "Many constituents, especially those emanating from the #Punjab, have contacted MPs to express solidarity with the farmers opposing #FarmersBill2020 in #India. Dozens of MPs duly deliberated and signed a cross-party letter, seeking justice for the peacefully protesting farmers."
Jack Harris, MP for St John's East, tweeted, "The violence targeting farmers in India is alarming. The peaceful protests embody the resilient spirit of Punjabi farmers. On Gurpurab, I join Sikhs from across Canada in calling on Justin Trudeau to condemn the Indian Govts violent repression of protests."
"#IStandWithFarmers in India who are protesting peacefully, as well as their loved ones here in Ontario, who are watching the violent crackdown in horror. Everyone deserves to be able to exercise their democratic rights without fear of state-sanctioned violence," tweeted Andrea Horwath, Leader of Opposition, Canadian province Ontario.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, despite India's warning over his earlier remarks on farmers' protests, has again commented that he "will always stand up for the right of peaceful protests".
Trudeau, at a press conference after the External Affairs Ministry issued a demarche to Canadian High Commissioner, said, "Canada will always stand up for the right of peaceful protests anywhere around the world."
The Sikh Council UK, while demanding political leaders to support the Canadian PM, tweeted, "Political leaders should stand alongside @JustinTrudeau to oppose human rights violations by the Indian authorities & not bow to bullying."
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