Tribune News Service
Bathinda, January 9
More than 100 MPs, cutting across party lines, in the United Kingdom are signatories to a letter written by Punjabi MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi to Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressing concerns over Indian farmers’ protest against the central farm laws.
Dhesi has urged Johnson to raise the issue with his Indian counterpart, expressing hopes of speedy resolution to the current deadlock. In the letter, Dhesi has stated that many constituents, especially those belonging to Punjab and other parts of India, were horrified to see water cannon, tear gas and brute force used against protesting farmers.
The issue has so galvanised the Indian diaspora community, especially those of Punjabi or Sikh origin, and others who have land or links to farming in India, that thousands of people were engaged in global protests, including in cities across the UK.
He has further stated that a cross-party letter was sent to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to raise the matter with his Indian counterpart.
The letter also states: “You were asked about this issue during the Prime Minister’s questions on December 9, 2020. It seems you misunderstood the question since you made the reference to Pakistan and the need of two governments to settle these matters. The issue has nothing to do with Pakistan, but is regarding farmers from across the India expressing their concern of major corporate houses moving into the agriculture sector, as a result of new laws. Could you please respond to clarify your understanding of this important issue?”
Further, he has claimed: “We believe your January India visit has now been cancelled, but you intend to meet your Indian counterpart soon. Given the urgency of this matter, could you please confirm that you will definitely convey to Indian PM the heartfelt anxieties of our constituents, our hope for speedy resolution to the current deadlock and also for the democratic human rights of citizens to peacefully protest?” Other Indian UK MPs Seema Malhotra and Virender Sharma have also signed this letter.
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