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India takes note of US State Department comments on Farmers’ agitation

New Delhi: India on Thursday said that it had taken note of comments of the U.S. State Department about farmers’ agitation in the country, adding that it was important to see such comments in the context in which they were made and in their entirety.

Responding to questions on the subject during the weekly media briefing in virtual format, Anurag Srivastav, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said the U.S. State Department has acknowledged steps being taken by India towards agricultural reforms.,

“Any protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the ongoing efforts of the Government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse,’ the spokesperson said.

He said that India and the United States are both vibrant democracies with shared values.

“The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Red Fort on January 26 have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on January 6 and are being addressed as per our respective local laws. The temporary measures with regard to internet access in certain parts of the NCR region were therefore understandably undertaken to prevent further violence,’ he added.

The U.S. State Department had welcomed steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and said that it recognized that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy, noting that the Indian Supreme Court has also stated the same.

Farmers have been protesting on the borders of Delhi for the past more than two months, demanding repeal of the three contentious farm laws. The government has held 11 rounds of talks with the agitating farmers’ organisations but the issue has not been resolved yet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated the government’s offer of putting on hold the three farm laws for 18 months but the farmers have not rejected it.

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