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Business News/ News / India/  Farmers' Protest: ‘Human rights must be protected’, says UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh on Shubkaran's death

Farmers' Protest: ‘Human rights must be protected’, says UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh on Shubkaran's death

UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh raised concerns over the ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘human rights’ of protesting farmers at Delhi borders amid the ongoing Delhi Chalo march.

UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh speaks on farmers' Delhi Chalo protest in the British Parliament. (X)Premium
UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh speaks on farmers' Delhi Chalo protest in the British Parliament. (X)

British Parliament on Thursday raised concerns over Shubkaran Singh's death at Khanauri border amid the ongoing farmers' Delhi Chalo march. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a Sikh Member of Parliament from Britain said the ‘freedom of expression’ of farmers must be protected. 

Addressing the Parliament, the Dhesi MP said, “Many of my Slough constituents, including members of the Sikh community and Gurdwaras have written to me regarding their serious concerns about the safety of protesting farmers in their attempt to march towards New Delhi."

“Yesterday, a protestor was killed during a reported standoff with the police wherein, the cause of death was, and I quote: "a bullet wound to the head"," Singh told the House. 

“The Punjab Health Minister confirmed that a second boy had also sustained a bullet wound. But luckily, he had survived with another 13 being treated for injuries in hospitals," he stated. 

He further mentioned the Indian government's orders to suspend accounts and posts on X (formerly Twitter) linked to farmers' protest

“And today, the BBC has reported that X admitted to being compelled against their wishes to take down legitimate posts and accounts of activists. So, does the leader of the House agree with me that the freedom of expression and the safety of protestors and their human rights must be protected."

“And what representations has the government made to its Indian counterparts to that effect?" the UK MP asked. 

The remarks came after a 21-year-old farmer died on Wednesday after protestors relaunched their 'Delhi Chalo' march as they disagreed with the Centre's proposals on a five-year plan for minimum support price (MSP).

Farmer leaders had rejected a proposal made by the government in the fourth round of talks between the two sides to break the deadlock. Farmers' leaders and three Union ministers met on 8, 12, 16, and 18 February but the dialogue remained inconclusive.

Who is Shubkaran Singh, the farmer's leader who died during Delhi Chalo march?

The farmer, identified as Subhkaran Singh, a resident of Baloke village in Punjab's Bathinda district, was killed and a few others injured following a clash between the security personnel and the protesting farmers at Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border. 

He is survived by two sisters, a grandmother, and his father, Charanjeet Singh, who works as a school van driver. Shubhkaran was involved in animal husbandry and owned approximately 3 acres of land and had some livestock.

Shubhkaran joined the protesting farmers at the Khanauri border on 13 February, the day farmers kicked off their agitation to press their 10 demands.

A day before, Shubhkaran prepared breakfast for himself and other farmers at the protest site near the Punjab-Haryana border. Shubhkaran reportedly asked them to sit and have breakfast together and said, "They might not get another chance to share a meal or sit together".

X complies with India's orders to suspend accounts linked to farmers

X (formerly Twitter), owned by billionaire Elon Musk, has confirmed compliance with executive orders issued by the Indian government demanding the suspension of specific accounts and posts allegedly associated with the farmers' Delhi Chalo protest.

The social media company has expressed its disagreement with the Indian government's directives and emphasized its commitment to freedom of expression.

“The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment," the official Global Government Affairs account of X wrote on the microblogging site.

“In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts," it said.

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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 07:38 AM IST
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