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To US remarks on farmers’ protest, India cites Capitol Hill violence

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Indian Foreign Ministry drew a comparison between the Capitol Hill riots in the United States to that of India’s ongoing farmers’ protest on Thursday, a day after a tweet flagging the farmers’ protest by American pop singer Rihanna sparked a storm on social media.

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“The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Red Fort on the 26th of January have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on the 6th of January and are being addressed as per respective local laws,” said Indian foreign ministry.

The issue has also been raised by several US lawmakers and celebrities, who showed their concern on social media about this large scale protest staged by lakhs of farmers for the past two months facing winter chills and government atrocities at the borders of India’s national capitol, Delhi.

Meanwhile, India has also requested US to help in investigate the ‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ), a Khalistani group, and their ‘Referendum 2020′ campaigns for the secession of Punjab state from the country. For the same Indian foreign ministry has solicited the US Department of Justice, in the backdrop of investigation into alleged Khalistan links in the farmers’ protests. Furthermore, the Delhi Police has registered a case, citing an “overseas” conspiracy behind the violence during the Republic Day tractor rally.

Earlier on Thursday, quoting US remarks on the ongoing farmers’ protests, foreign ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, said that it is, “important to see such comments in their entirety”, adding that “India and the US are both vibrant democracies”, where the US “has acknowledged steps taken by India in agricultural reform”.

Also Read :- Met PM Modi to discuss farmers’ issue, he was arrogant,says Meghalaya Governor Malik

On the snapping of internet in parts of the National Capital Region (NCR), the Centre said it was “understandably taken to prevent further violence”.

On Thursday evening, quoting from the State Department briefing, a spokesperson had said, “We recognize that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy, and note that the Indian Supreme Court has stated the same. We encourage that any differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue”.

“In general, the United States welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater private sector investment,” the spokesperson added, while indicating US support to the farm laws.

Rihanna’s tweet on Indian farmers’ protest, followed a pushback from many political leaders, actors and sportspersons who said India’s sovereignty could not be compromised and the government had the situation in hand.

Not only individuals but the foreign ministry too reverted to international icon’s tweet blaming “vested interests” and suggesting that before “rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken”.

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“The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,” the foreign ministry tweet read.

“Motivated campaigns targeting India will never succeed,” foreign minister S Jaishankar wrote on Twitter.

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