Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has once again upheld farmers protesting peacefully for their rights in India.
Canada will always stand up for the right to peaceful protest in any part of the world, Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa when asked about India’s warning to support farmers, Indian media reported.
Asked about the damage to relations with India over the support of Indian farmers, he reiterated that “Canada will always stand up for the right to peaceful protest in any part of the world.”
Note that on the first statement of Justin Trudeau in support of the farmers, India had summoned the Ambassador of Canada and recorded a formal protest against him.
The Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that comments on issues related to Indian farmers have caused unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.
“We expect the Government of Canada to ensure the full security of Indian diplomats and its political leaders to refrain from making statements that legitimize extremist activity,” the statement said.
India and Canada have close ties, but in recent years there has been a concern in India that some Sikh leaders based in Canada have ties to separatist groups hostile to India.
Canada is home to an influential Sikh community, and Indian leaders say there are groups that are still sympathetic to the Khalistan movement, an independent Sikh state separate from India.
Speaking to the Indian community in Canada earlier this week, Justin Trudeau said he had been told by farmers in the suburbs of New Delhi, most of them from the Sikh-majority state of Punjab, to protest agricultural reforms.
On December 1, the Indian government responded immediately, without naming the Canadian prime minister, saying the Canadian leader’s statement was misinformed and unnecessary.
Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said: “We have seen statements based on the Canadian leader’s misinformation on farmers in India. Be concerned with matters.
It would be better not to use diplomatic discourse out of context for political purposes, he said.
It should be noted that in India, the government of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had introduced agrarian reforms against which thousands of farmers had started marching towards the capital of New Delhi.
Police used tear gas and water cannons to stop the farmers’ march and tried to stop Punjab farmers 200 km from Delhi.
Some farmers were armed with sticks and stones and police used water cannon and tear gas on the protesters.