Fri, 23 Apr 2021

London [UK], March 9 (ANI): The United Kingdom on Monday reiterated that agricultural reform laws are a "domestic matter" of India and that security forces in a democracy have the right to enforce law and order.

"Agricultural policy is a domestic matter for the Indian government. The UK government firmly believes that freedom of speech and the right for peaceful protest are vital to any democracy but we also accept that if a protest crosses the line into illegality, security forces in a democracy have the right to enforce law and order," UK Minister of State for Asia Nigel Adams said during a debate in Parliament complex on the issue of peaceful protests and press freedoms in India.

Adams said "Our officials from our network of high commissions in India have monitored and reported back on the protest in response to the agricultural reform laws (Farm Laws) ever since it flared up in September. We are also aware that the Indian government has met with farmers on several occasions and that those talks remain inconclusive."The minister also said expressed hope that the ongoing dialogue between the Indian government and farmers' unions will have positive results.

Adams was responding in a debate held in response to a petition that with over 10,000 signatories.

According to British parliamentary convention, petitions that garner 10,000 signatures on the UK government and Parliament website get a response from the government and petitions that get 100,000 signatures are almost always debated.

Farmers have been camping at several Delhi border points for over three months now demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws.

Meanwhile, Adams also said that while it "an exciting time for the UK-India partnership, it does not hinder us from raising difficult issues."The minister said that India and UK work together as a force for good in the UN Security Council and the cooperation helps to fix global problems.

"We are working with India as a force for good on the United Nations Security Council... This cooperation will help us fix global problems and it will strengthen prosperity and well-being in India and the United Kingdom," Adams said.

Adams also hailed India's "vibrant media scene" that "promotes lively debate across the political spectrum."Further, speaking on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's upcoming visit to India he said it will be give an open opportunity to discuss a "range of bilateral issues" with India "where we have serious and specific concerns. We will raise them directly with the Indian government -- as you expect of a friend and neighbour." (ANI)

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