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Agricultural Protest: Congressional India Caucus Leadership Urges India to Allow Peaceful Demonstrations | India News


WASHINGTON: The leadership of the powerful Indian Congressional Caucus has urged the Indian government to ensure that the norms of democracy are upheld and that protesters are allowed to demonstrate peacefully and have access to the internet, as they discussed the issue of unrest of ongoing farmers in the country.
Congressman Brad Sherman, co-chair of the Indian Congressional Caucus, said he called a meeting with his other Republican co-chair, Congressman Steve Chabot, and the vice president, Congressman Ro Khanna, to speak with the Indian ambassador to the United States. , Taranjit Singh Sandhu, on farmer demonstrations in India.
This was the first meeting of the India Caucus, the largest country-specific caucus in the US House of Representatives, on the issue.
“I urged the Indian government to ensure that the norms of democracy are upheld and that protesters are allowed to protest peacefully and have access to the internet and journalists. All friends of India hope that the parties can reach an agreement, ”Sherman said.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three border points in Delhi, Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, for more than 70 days, demanding the complete repeal of three central agricultural laws.
Several rounds of talks between the government and farmers’ unions have been stalled.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a body that groups together farmers’ unions protesting against farm laws, said on Friday that there would be no ‘chakka jam’ in Delhi on February 6, even as it claimed that farmers from elsewhere of the country will block national and state highways for three hours but in a peaceful manner.
The SKM had earlier this week announced this chakka jam nationwide on Saturday, saying that farmers would block national and state roads for three hours in protest against the internet ban in areas close to their sites of agitation, allegedly harassment. by the authorities and other problems. .
The Foreign Ministry has said that any protests should be seen in the context of India’s democratic politics and ethics, and ongoing efforts by the government and concerned farmer groups to resolve the deadlock.
“The Parliament of India, after a full debate and debate, passed reformist legislation related to the agricultural sector. These reforms provide greater market access and provide greater flexibility to farmers. They also pave the way for economical agriculture. and ecologically sustainable, “said the MEA. it said in a statement Wednesday.
“Temporary measures regarding internet access in certain parts of the NCR region were … understandably taken to prevent further violence,” he said Thursday, referring to incidents of violence and vandalism in the historic Red Fort on 26 December. January.
Congressman Steve Cohen said that India is the largest democracy in the world and freedom of speech is one of the best hallmarks of democracy.
“I am watching #FarmersProtests closely with concern about possible attacks on freedom of expression, including cuts to internet service and state sponsored violence,” he tweeted.
“America and India were built by small farmers, diversity, and democracy. We cannot deviate from our shared values,” Congressman Eric Swalwell tweeted.
“India must commit to peace, negotiate with small farmers, restore Internet access and reject discrimination,” he said.
In a strong response to comments made by foreign individuals and entities, the MEA said Wednesday that the “temptation” of hashtags and tabloid comments on social media is “neither accurate nor responsible.”

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