In the wake of protest in London in support of farmers’ agitation in India, the British high commission on Monday said it is in touch with the Metropolitan Police and the Indian mission there on the issue. Thousands of protesters from various parts of the UK held a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in central London on Sunday as a show of support for farmers agitating against the new farm laws in India.
“Policing of protests is a matter for the Metropolitan Police. We remained in close contact with both the Indian High Commission in London and the Metropolitan Police Service about the protest,” a British high commission spokesperson said. The UK has a large Indian diaspora.
The demonstration in London came after a group of 36 British MPs led by British Sikh Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi wrote to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab regarding the impact on British Punjabis affected by the demonstrations by farmers in India. Farmers in India are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.