Justin Trudeau backs farmers' protest in India, says situation 'concerning'
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is the first world leader to speak out on farmers' protest in India.
December 01, 2020 / 01:35 PM IST
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has supported Indian farmers who have intensified their agitation against the new farm laws, saying the situation is "concerning".
Speaking on the occasion of the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Trudeau said, “The news coming out of India about the protest by farmers. The situation is concerning and we are 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 rights of peaceful protest.”
Trudeau is the first world leader to speak out on the farmers’ protests in India.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are holding protests at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders of the national capital against the new farm laws, which they fear will dismantle the minimum support price system and corporatise farming.
Canada has a significant population of Sikhs who have migrated from Punjab.
Trudeau said he had reached out to Indian authorities over the issue. “We believe in the importance of dialogue and that's why, we've reached out to multiple means, directly to the Indian authorities to highlight our concerns. This is a moment for all of us to pull together, because of COVID and because of everything else,” the Canadian PM said in the video.
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Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP) president Sukhpal Singh Khaira welcomed Trudeau's support. “We welcome the support of Justin Trudeau PM Canada for the farmers' agitation and urge BJP govt to accept the legitimate demands of farmers who have contributed to the inclusive development of India and are themselves under a colossal debt leading to widespread suicides-khaira. (sic)”
Earlier, Canada's defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan said 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.”