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Canada Must Condemn India’s Violent Crackdown Against Farmers: BCGC & OGC Write to Canadian Foreign Minister

February 27, 2024 | By

Ontario: British Columbia Gurdwaras Council (BCGC) and Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC) have written a letter to the Canadian Foreign Minister (copy available with Sikh Siyasat News) to raise concerns regarding paramilitary troop mobilization by India at the East-Punjab-Haryana state boundaries and the alleged repression of farmer activists.

“We are writing to raise concerns regarding paramilitary troop mobilization at the Punjab-India borders and the repression of farmer activists in recent days”, BCGC and OGC wrote in its letter dated February 21, 2024.

Indian Police forces resorted to massive shelling of tear gas against farmers | A visual from Shambhu Border between East Punjab and Haryana

“We urge you to immediately raise this with the High Commission of India in Canada to ensure that civil liberties and fundamental human rights are protected. Communities across Canada are concerned about the possible escalation of violence, as well as the draconian measures being implemented to repress the freedom of expression and democratic assembly”, wrote Moninder Singh and Amarjit Singh.

The letter further reads: “Since February 13, 2024, farmer activists from across the Indian subcontinent have been protesting against the government’s lack of action on numerous policy issues to ensure the livelihood of farmers. Despite written commitments to do so in 2021, the government has since failed to take any concrete action in this regard. Instead, the Government of India has responded with a marked escalation in its repression of political dissent–deploying drones, tear gas, rubber pellets, live ammunition, incendiary devices, and other weaponry against unarmed demonstrators. One 21-year old activist was murdered by police today while hundreds have been seriously injured over the past week. Canada has claimed a role in condemning human rights violations and promoting the right to protest in places like China, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Canada must fulfill this responsibility to express its concerns with India as well. The rise of violent xenophobic rhetoric by government officials and unchecked mob violence targeting Sikhs, Muslims, and other minorities continues to increase day by day, raising alarm amongst numerous experts about the real possibilities of renewed genocidal violence in the subcontinent. The recent murder of Bhai Hardeep Singh Nijjar by Indian agents in Canada demonstrates that continued impunity and a lack of accountability only serves to embolden the Indian regime in its violent repression of minorities and political dissidents”.

Police are using such kind of tear gas shells which blasts like a bomb | Photo: Sikh Siyasat News

Pointing out that while internal policy matters of a foreign country are subject to principles of non-interference, the Sikh representatives said: “it is pivotal that Canada condemns India’s violent actions and supports the right to dissent in India as it does around the world”.

“Canada cannot continue to work with an international partner that constantly tramples human rights through genocidal violence and repressing basic civil liberties with impunity. Sikhs all over the globe are watching closely as the Indian state is amping up its rhetoric while demonizing Sikh demonstrators”, the letter reads.

Farmers holding a candlelight vigil at Shambhu border in the memory of Shubhkaran Singh, 22-year-old farmers who died after a bullet fired by Indian police personnel hit him in the head at Khanauri border on February 21

“Historically, this pattern has preceded the legitimization of mass arrests, widespread genocidal violence, and human rights abuses. Sikhs across Canada are urging you to immediately raise this with the High Commission of India in Canada–as well as your counterparts in New Delhi–to ensure that civil liberties and fundamental human rights are protected. Sikhs across Canada are concerned about the possible escalation of violence and call for the draconian measures implemented to repress democratic assembly to be lifted with immediate effect”, said Moninder Singh and Amarjit Singh Mann.

♦ RELATED VIDEO: Farmers Protest 2024: What Farmers Tell Us That Why They are Protesting?



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