Washington, DC—Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Co-Chair of the American Sikh Caucus, along with Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA-16) and Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)—members of the American Sikh Caucus—sent a letter to Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Ambassador of India to the United States, regarding India’s recent crackdown on protestors surrounding the nation’s recent passage of agricultural reform bills. Congressman Garamendi and his colleagues expressed their solidarity with the protestors and defended their right to peacefully protest these new laws.
“Hundreds of thousands of farmers from the states of Punjab and Haryana that have made their way to New Delhi to peacefully protest these new agricultural laws, and the Indian government has met these peaceful protestors with tear gas, water cannons, barricades, baton attacks, and more. Many of these farmers have children, relatives, and friends who are U.S. citizens, many of whom have reached out to us to share their concerns about these developments. We urge the Indian government to demonstrate its respect for these crucial democratic freedoms, and to be a model of democratic values in the vital Indo-Pacific region,” the Representatives said in their letter.
“As Co-Chair of the American Sikh Caucus in Congress, my office has received firsthand accounts of the horrific crackdowns on protestors who are trying to peacefully express their disapproval of India’s recent agricultural reform legislation. There is no excuse for brutally suppressing the voices of these protestors, and I implore the Indian government to cease its violent actions against its citizens and honor their peaceful assembly,” Garamendi said.
“Sikhs across the United States and around the world are standing in solidarity with these farmers, who have faced unjustifiable violence by the Indian government in response to their peaceful protest against economic exploitation.” said Sim J. Singh, Senior Policy & Advocacy Manager at the Sikh Coalition. “We thank Congressman Garamendi for adding his voice to our calls for justice, and we urge more members of Congress to follow in his example.”
The full text of the Representatives’ letter can be viewed here.