Thousands protest in UK against India’s farm reforms

Published December 7, 2020
LONDON: British Sikhs protest against India’s new farming legislation outside the High Commission of India on Sunday. Agricultural reforms in India have triggered mass demonstrations in the country. Farmers fear the legislation will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices.—Reuters
LONDON: British Sikhs protest against India’s new farming legislation outside the High Commission of India on Sunday. Agricultural reforms in India have triggered mass demonstrations in the country. Farmers fear the legislation will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices.—Reuters

LONDON: Thousands of people protested in central London on Sunday over agricultural reforms that have triggered mass demonstrations in India.

A crowd of demonstrators, a large number of Sikhs among them, converged on the Indian embassy, located on Aldwych, a major artery in the centre of the British capital, and groups marched around the Trafalgar Square area.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting in India against three laws the government says are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce.

Farmers fear the legislation, passed in September, will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers.

Britain is home to a large Indian diaspora and many Britons who trace their family roots to India are strongly engaged with news from the country.

There was little social distancing in evidence at the London protests and few participants were wore face masks.

Police warned that people taking part in a gathering that did not respect Covid-19 restrictions risked being fined, and called on people to leave the area.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2020

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