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British MP raises concern over NIA notices to farmers

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Chandigarh, Jan 20 (IANS) British Labour Party MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi has raised the issue of National Investigation Agency (NIA) sending notices to a number of people who are associated with the farmers’ stir in New Delhi.

Asking a question to the Foreign Minister in the Parliament, Dhesi said more than 100 members of the House of Commons have already signed and sent a cross-party letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about “our anxieties for the peacefully protesting farmers in India and we await eagerly his response”.

“It is extremely concerning to hear alarming reports of harassment and intimidation by the authorities there who have started issuing notices to peaceful protesters union leaders and human rights activists,” said Dhesi on Tuesday.

In reply to Dhesi’s question, Secretary of State for Foreign, Dominic Raab, informed that he understood MP’s concern and had discussed the farmers’ issue with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar when he visited India in December last year.

Raab added “This is a government-led major reform reducing subsidies as a part of liberalisation process but he makes some important points about freedom of protest and the sensitivity.”

Earlier, Dhesi sent a letter, signed by over 100 MPs and Lords, to the Prime Minister on the ongoing farmers’ protests, asking him to raise this matter with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when they next liaise.

The letter seeks to ensure that the UK Prime Minister reaffirms the importance of the right to peaceful protest internationally, has a full understanding of this important issue and asks him to raise this matter with the Indian Prime Minister, following the cancellation of their meeting in India, planned later this month.

–IANS

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