The Indian diaspora in London has got added to the list of overseas voices in support and solidarity for the protesting farmers in India as thousands of people, who are predominantly from the Sikh community, had staged protests in the British capital on Sunday against the three farm bills introduced by the Indian government, which triggered the large-scale and unprecedented protests across the country with the demand of repealing the farm bills.
The protesters had blocked the traffic in central London after gathering before the Indian Embassy, located in the center of the British capital. By raising anti-Modi and anti-farm laws slogans, they marched around the Trafalgar Square area, and as the city had witnessed massive protests, there was a heavy deployment of police personnel from the Metropolitan Police.
The protesters were seen carrying the placards that read 'India is a fake democracy', 'No farmers, No food', 'Don't bite the hand that feeds you', and 'Honk if you support farmers'. They also had displayed a huge banner in which Modi was compared to German dictator Adolf Hitler. The banner has read Modi as 'India's Prime Murderer' and it had listed out Modi's crimes against humanity and minorities.
The demonstration had mostly seen the people from the Sikh community from Punjab, from where the farmers had gathered in large numbers in Delhi and the peasants have been unveiling unprecedented scale of protests in Delhi with the collective demand of repealing the farm laws. As massive protests in London had seen the violations of the COVID-19 restrictions, the London police had arrested some of the protests.
According to Reuters, the Metropolitan Police had said it had arrested 13 people for breaching restrictions that were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, and of these 13, the police had released four people after imposing penalties. In a statement, police commander Paul Brogden said, "The capital remains in the midst of a pandemic. It is vital that we all play our part in the fight against COVID-19".
The police also had confiscated fireworks from the teenagers who were seen setting them off towards a crowd. Reuters reported that there were no injuries and there were no hassles for traffic after the crowds were dispersed. The protests have become a second overseas voice in support of the Indian farmers against the farm laws and the protests have come days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had sent his solidarity by stating that Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests.
The protests from London have come at a high time when the protesting farmers in India are preparing for the Bharat Bandh- the nationwide strike on Tuesday, December 8. Thousands of farmers have been staging protests for the twelfth straight day on Monday with the sole motive of urging the Center to repeal the farm bills which they fear would destroy their livelihoods and MSP by pumping in the private players into the agricultural sectors.
Last week, the farmers' unions had called for Bharat Bandh on December 8 to advance and expand their protests nationwide, which would add more pressure to the Center and is expected to create an ardent impact in daily lives by causing major disruptions. As the farmers' unions are preparing for the Bharat Bandh, the entire nation has expressed its solidarity with the farmers in the nationwide strike. Along with farmers' unions, several transport unions across the country had reserved its participation in the bandh to support farmers. On Sunday, the leaders of 11 political parties, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, DMK Chief MK Stalin, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, and Communist parties have said that they would extend solidarity to the farmers on the Bharat Bandh.