Washington, December 26, 2020 (PPI-OT): A group of seven influential US lawmakers, including Indian-American Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, have written to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging him to raise the issue of farmers’ protest in India with his Indian counterpart. The lawmakers in their letter to Pompeo dated December 23 said, this is an issue of particular concern to Sikh Americans linked to Punjab, although it also heavily impacts the Indian Americans belonging to other Indian states.
“Many Indian Americans are directly affected as they have family members and ancestral land in Punjab and are concerned for the well-being of their families in India. In view of this serious situation, we urge you to contact your Indian counterpart to reinforce the United States’ commitment to the freedom of political speech abroad,” they said.
In their letter, the lawmakers said that the US as a nation that is familiar with political protests can offer counsel to India during their current period of social disturbance. “As national legislators, we respect the right of the government of India to determine national policy, in compliance with existing law. We also acknowledge the rights of those in India and abroad who are currently protesting peacefully against agricultural laws that many Indian farmers see as an attack on their economic security,” the lawmakers said.
In addition to Jayapal, the letter has been signed by Congressmen Donald Norcross, Brendan F Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, Mary Gay Scanlon, Debbie Dingell and David Trone. Over the past few weeks, more than a dozen US Congressmen have expressed their concerns on the ongoing protest by the farmers in India.
Earlier this month, Congressman John Garamendi, Co-Chair of the American Sikh Caucus, along with Congressman Jim Costa and Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee members of the American Sikh Caucus sent a letter to Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, expressing solidarity with the protestors and defending their right to peaceful protest.
Democratic American lawmaker David Trone on Tuesday urged the Indian government to provide safety to the protesting farmers. It is to mention here that thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting on various borders of Delhi since November 26, seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September. They term these laws as anti-farmer.
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