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Canadian PM Trudeau calls farmers’ protest situation “concerning”

Ottawa: Referring to the ongoing farmers’ protest against the farm bill 2020 at New Delhi borders, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday batted for their right to protest peacefully and called the situation “concerning”.

Trudeau made the remarks while participating in a Facebook video interaction organised by Canadian MP Bardish Chagger to mark Gurupurab or the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion.

In his opening remarks, he said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t start also by recognising the news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we’re all very worried about family and friends.

“I know that’s a reality for many of you. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest. We believe in the importance of dialogue and that’s why we’ve reached out through multiple means directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns,” he added.

Trudeau was joined by Indian-origin Canadian ministers — Navdeep Bains, Harjit Sajjan and members of the Sikh community.

India is yet to respond to Trudeau’s remark.

Earlier, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan had written on Twitter, “The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized 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.”

New Democratic Party (NDP) leader in Canada Jagmeet Singh tweeted, “The violence perpetrated by the Indian government against farmers peacefully protesting is appalling. I stand in solidarity with the farmers from Punjab and across India – and, I call on the Indian govt to engage in peaceful dialogue rather than violence.”

Politicians and MPs from the United Kingdom have also raised concerns regarding the agricultural bills.

UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi tweeted, “It takes a special kind of people to feed those ordered to beat and suppress them. I stand with farmers of Punjab and other parts of India, including our family and friends, who are peacefully protesting against the encroaching privatisation of #FarmersBill 2020.”

Demanding the Centre to repeal its three recently passed farm sector laws, farmer unions from Punjab and Haryana have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi for the past five days.

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