By Arul Louis
United Nations, Dec 5 (IANS) Farmers in India have the right to demonstrate peacefully and authorities should allow them, according to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
“We want to see people have a voice in their lives,” Dujarric said on Friday at his daily briefing when a reporter asked about the ongoing farmers’ protests against the agriculture reform laws introduced by the Indian government.
“What I would say to you is what I’ve said to others when raising these issues is that people have a right to demonstrate peacefully, and authorities need to let them do so,” he added.
The spokesperson’s remarks came as farmers have been sitting on protest for the last nine days at the Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders.
The agitated farmers are demanding the repeal of the three farm laws passed by Parliament earlier this year and have expressed apprehension that they would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate houses.
The government has maintained that the new laws will provide farmers with better opportunities. It has also accused the opposition parties of misleading farmers.
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)