Home » British Punjabi councillor says signatories to farmer protest petition ‘furious’ with UK response

British Punjabi councillor says signatories to farmer protest petition ‘furious’ with UK response

by newsking24

LONDON: British-born Punjabi councillor Gurch Singh, who launched the petition calling on Britain to induce India to make sure the protection of protesting farmer and journalists, says the individuals who signed it are “furious” with the response from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and is pushing for his petition to be debated within the House of Lords.
The Maidenhead councillor’s petition, which has garnered 1,15,000 signatures on the UK Government and Parliament web site, calls on the UK authorities to make a public assertion on the continuing farmers’ protests and freedom of press in India.
In its written response, the FCDO states that Britain recurrently interacts with the Indian authorities and that “human rights issues form part of their dialogue”. It provides, “We respect that agricultural reforms are a matter for India. We consider the right to peaceful protest, freedom of speech, and internet freedom vital in any democracy.”
“We also recognise that governments have the power to enforce law and order if a protest crosses the line into illegality. We look to the Indian government to uphold all freedoms and rights guaranteed in India’s strong constitution. Media freedom and the right to protest are essential to robust democracies. We regularly engage with India’s vibrant media, which promotes lively debate,” it additional states.
The petition is now ready to be debated within the House of Commons, however no date has been fastened but as petition debates have been quickly suspended due to the pandemic.
Singh, whose household is from Ludhiana, a few of whom are on the protest websites on Delhi’s borders, mentioned: “People are furious with the government’s response. It’s not acceptable. It’s a very diplomatic response that was probably run past the Indian government before it went public. Because the UK government seems to be dragging its heels in terms of a debate date in the Commons, I’m now lobbying peers for a debate in the Lords too.”
Labour Sikh MP Preet Gill has despatched a letter to UK overseas secretary Dominic Raab on behalf of the APPG (all party-parliamentary group) for British Sikhs following the Zoom name the APPG held with a string of MPs, journalists, activists and celebrities in India, USA, the UK and Canada final week. In it, Gill, the APPG chair, requests a gathering with Raab to debate the escalating crackdown on the farmers’ protests in India, police brutality towards peaceable protesters, Internet shutdowns, freezing of social media accounts and detention of journalists and activists. She additionally asks for an replace on what representations the UK authorities has made to the Indian authorities and “what more it can do to defend the right to peaceful protest and encourage constructive civil engagement”.
The BBC is below hearth over its protection of the farmer protests, which have develop into an inflammatory situation in Britain. On February 10, the BBC issued an announcement saying it had complaints it was not protecting the farmers’ protests sufficient. Its protection of the protests on BBC News TV channel on February 6 led to greater than 3,000 complaints that it was biased in the direction of the Indian authorities and had offered the farmers’ protest as a pro-Khalistan motion.
Labour Punjabi MP Seema Malhotra, who represents a big Sikh diaspora, who tweeted it was a “good and well informed interview” was closely trolled, pressured to delete her tweet and publicly apologise. There is now a petition on change.org calling for her resignation.

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