WSO Stands With Punjab’s Farmers & Condemns Indian State Brutality

OTTAWA, CANADA – The World Sikh Organization of Canada stands in solidarity with the farmers of Punjab in their protests against the Government of India. Indian security forces have brutally cracked down on hundreds of thousands of farmers from Punjab and other states who are currently marching towards India’s capital, New Delhi.

Since September, Punjab’s farmers have been protesting against the Modi Government’s passing of three agricultural reform laws that dramatically change the procurement system and will bring an end to the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Farmers are demanding that the government guarantee the MSP in writing in order to prevent exploitation by corporate actors under the new law reforms.

As hundreds of thousands of Punjab’s farmers march on Delhi, Indian police forces have attempted to block their path by destroying roads, erecting barriers and attacking the protestors with water cannons and tear gas. Indian media outlets have also attempted to vilify the protestors and malign them as extremists.

WSO President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said today, “We condemn the Government of India’s repression of Punjab’s protesting farmers. The brutal tactics being used to crush their peaceful protests are reprehensible. The legitimate concerns of Punjab’s farmers have been ignored for decades and the Modi government’s unilateral changes to the procurement process in September have served as a watershed moment. Punjab’s farmers have suffered for far too long, leading to an epidemic of farmer suicides and social unrest. India must address the plight of farmers and not simply respond with brutality. We stand in solidarity with Punjab’s farmers. We call on the Government of Canada to play an important role by raising concerns over the treatment of Punjab’s farmers with the Government of India and to call for an end to the violence against them.”