European Sikh Organization Condemns Use of Force Against Indian Farmers’ Protest

Brussels, February 19, 2024 – The European Sikh Organization has issued a strong condemnation following reports of excessive force used by Indian security forces against farmers protesting in India since February 13, 2024. The farmers, who have been demanding the implementation of Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for their crops, reminiscent of the widespread 2020–2021 Indian farmers’ agitation, have reportedly faced severe and violent crackdowns.

In a distressing turn of events, it has been reported that the use of pellet guns by Indian forces has resulted in severe injuries among the protestors, with at least three farmers being blinded. This method of crowd control, previously seen in the contentious regions of Kashmir, marks a troubling use of lethal force against civilians voicing their dissent.

The European Sikh Organization, representing the Sikh community in Europe, has taken swift action by bringing this issue to the forefront of the European Parliament. The organization plans to engage with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to highlight the severity of the situation and advocate for the rights of the Indian farmers within the broader framework of the European Union’s commitment to human rights.

Expressing solidarity with the farmers, the European Sikh Organization emphasized the stark contrast between the handling of farmer protests in Europe and India. In Europe, farmers’ rights to protest and advocate for their interests are often met with dialogue and negotiation, rather than violence and suppression. This disparity highlights a significant concern over the treatment of Indian farmers and the need for international attention to ensure their fundamental rights are protected.

The support from the farming community in Belgium towards their Indian counterparts is a testament to the global nature of the issue, underscoring the universal right to peaceful protest and the importance of government accountability in addressing citizens’ grievances.

As the situation develops, the European Sikh Organization’s efforts to bring international scrutiny to the use of force against Indian farmers are a crucial step in advocating for justice and human rights. The organization’s call to action within the European Union represents a broader plea for global solidarity with those fighting for their livelihoods and rights, against disproportionate use of force and suppression.

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