‘Small section’ of farmers protesting, High Commission tells British MP

The new farm laws were “duly discussed and debated” in Parliament before being passed, said the High Commission of India in the U.K. in an unusual “Open letter” to a British lawmaker. Responding to public comments by MP Claudia Webbe, the High Commission on Monday said a “small section” of farmers are protesting and urged British citizens who are part of Ms. Webbe’s constituency to reach out to it for further information regarding the laws.

“The farm laws were duly discussed and debated in Parliament and their benefits have started reaching more than 100 million small farmers instantly. Since the enactment of these reforms, discussions have been held with farmers and other stakeholders on their efficient implementation,” the letter said.

It said the protesting farmers were “treated with utmost respect” by the security agencies and that the protest is being carried out by a “small section” of agricultural community.

Ms. Webbe, MP from Leicester East, had commented in social media over the arrests of activists Disha Ravi and Nodeep Kaur saying, “Both women were targeted, arrested and imprisoned for peacefully supporting the farmers’ protest. This suppression is driven by authoritarianism and free market capitalism.” She had extended support to the farmers and described the movement as a “human rights protest” and a “protest against food insecurity”.

Foreign plots

In response, the High Commission said the letter was an attempt to “dispel any misgivings” about the objectives of the farm laws and that the government of India is trying to address the concerns of the farmers. The statement however declared that India is aware of foreign plots that are not helpful for dialogue between the farmers and the government.

“The government of India is more than aware of efforts by vested interests abroad to fuel the protests through misinformation and incendiary assertions that are not helpful in progressing the dialogue between the protesters and the government or addressing the issues through the democratic processes that our people have traditionally relied on,” said the High Commission.

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