MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who belongs from the Labour Party, has sent Prime Minister Boris Johnson a letter regarding the ongoing farmers’ protests in India, and asked him to raise this matter with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when they next meet. The letter is signed by over 100 MPs and Lords.
The letter urges Boris Johnson to emphasize the need for a “speedy resolution of the current deadlock and the democratic human right of citizens to peacefully protest.” Constituents of these MPs mainly belong to the Indian diaspora, many coming from farming backgrounds.
“Immensely grateful to the 100 plus MPs and Lords who’ve signed cross-party letter to the Prime Minister, given huge concerns for the peaceful Indian farmers’ protest. Boris Johnson must raise with the Indian PM when they liaise, expressing hopes of speedy resolution to the current deadlock,” Dhesi told IANS in a message.
Slough MP Tanmanjeet Dhesi shared the letter on his Twitter account on Friday, it came on the same day Johnson’s trip to India was canceled due to the crisis created by the new strain of coronavirus.
“Many constituents, especially those emanating from Punjab and other parts of India, were horrified to see the use of water cannons, tear gas and brute force being used on hundreds of thousands of peacefully protesting farmers. The issue has so galvanised the Indian diaspora community, especially those of a Punjabi or Sikh background, and others who have land or links to farming in India, that tens of thousands engaged in global protests, including in towns and cities across the UK,” the letter noted.
The letter also questioned Boris Johnson’s understanding of the issue after he confused the protest with a dispute between Pakistan and India in a response to questions he was asked by MP Dhesi on 9th December.
The MP’s have asked Johnson to sort out his stance regarding the protests. “Could you please respond to clarify your understanding of this important issue? Do you indeed agree that everyone has the fundamental right to engage in peaceful protest?”, the letter read.
Despite the eight rounds of talks conducted between the farmers and the Indian government, no progress could be made regarding the farm laws. The farmers demand the government to revoke the three laws, but the government has refused.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting in the Indian capital of Delhi, against the three contentious farm laws for over a month now. The protestors came under multiple rounds of police shelling of tear gas shells as they reached the Singhu border in November, water cannons were deployed as well.