Bringing an international dimension to the ongoing farmer protests in the Indian national capital, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said that he is very worried about the unfolding incident and that concerns have been relayed to the Modi government. He said on occasion of Gurupurab: “[About the news coming from India about the protest by farmers] The situation is very concerning. All of us are worried about family and friends, and this is a reality for many. Let me remind you. Canada will always defend the rights of peaceful protesters. We have intimated our concerns to the Indian authorities.”
We welcome the support of @JustinTrudeau Pm Canada for the farmers agitation and urge Bjp govt to accept the legitimate demands of farmers who have contributed to the inclusive development of India and are themselves under a colossal debt leading to widespread suicides-khaira pic.twitter.com/T7WqMvWx51— Sukhpal Singh Khaira (@SukhpalKhaira) December 1, 2020
Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan had written on Twitter: “The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalised in India are very troubling. Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right.”
Opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had, on Tuesday, asked the government to wake up and shed “arrogance” to provide protesting farmers their rights. Farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are holding protests at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the Centre’s new agri-marketing laws. Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said everyone was indebted to the farmers for their hard work and this debt would be repaid only by giving them justice. “The food grower is sitting in protest on the roads and fields and speeches are being given on TV.We all are indebted to the hard work of farmers. This debt will be over only by giving them justice and their rights, and not by mistreating them or by beating them with batons or using tear gas against them,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
“Wake up and come down from the chair of arrogance and think of giving the farmers their rights,” he also said.
The Centre has invited agitating farmer unions for talks on Tuesday. The stir by farmers appeared to intensify despite a strong defence of the legislation by the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has accused the opposition of playing tricks on farmers again through misinformation.