Thousands protest in London against India’s farming reforms

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British Sikhs gather to protest against India’s new farming legislation outside the High Commission of India in London, Britain, December 6, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of people protested in central London on Sunday over Indian agricultural reforms that have triggered mass demonstrations in India.

A crowd of demonstrators converged on the Indian embassy, located on Aldwych, a major artery in the center of the British capital, and groups marched around the Trafalgar Square area, a Reuters photographer at the scene said.

Tens of thousands of farmers have protested in India against three laws the government says are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce.

Demonstrators gesture from a vehicle as British Sikhs protest against India’s new farming legislation, in London, Britain, December 6, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Farmers fear the legislation, passed in September, will eventually dismantle India’s regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers.

Britain is home to a large Indian diaspora and many Britons who trace their family roots to India are strongly engaged with news from the country.

There was little social distancing in evidence at the London protests and few participants were wearing face masks.

The Metropolitan Police warned that people taking part in a gathering that did not respect COVID-19 restrictions risked being fined, and called on people to leave the area.

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