India farmers protests: US calls for ‘dialogue’ but defends Modi’s reforms

Several celebrities and activists globally have been tweeting support to protesting farmers in India

Indian authorities heavily ramped up security along three main protest sites outside New Delhi’s border, using cemented iron spikes, steel barricades and deployed hundreds of police in riot gear in their latest attempt to thwart the growing farmers’ protest on the edges of the capital

The US on Wednesday urged the Indian government to resolve the deadlock in the ongoing talks with farmers, who have been agitating for months against three new farm laws, stating that unhindered access to information is fundamental to freedom of expression.

The state department said in a statement that it welcomed the “steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater private sector investment,” but encouraged the Indian government to resolve differences between the parties through dialogue.

“We recognise that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy and note that the Indian Supreme Court has stated the same,” the US State Department said. “We recognise that unhindered access to information, including the internet, is fundamental to the freedom of expression and a hallmark of a thriving democracy,” it added.

The statement followed a global outpouring of support for the ongoing farmers’ protest in India, including from singer Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

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