PEACEFULLY protesting Indian farmers have been praised locally for their “enormous sacrifices” after a controversial farming reforms U-turn.

Since last November, thousands of farmers opposed the plans that would have loosened rules that protect India’s farmers from the free market, allowing private players in farming.

But now Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced he will be repealing the three controversial farm laws that would have threaten farmers’ income and left them vulnerable to exploitation by private companies.

Despite repealing the laws, Mr Modi insisted the laws would have “strengthened” small farmers.

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Slough’s MP Tan Dhesi has stood in solidarity with the Indian farmers and has voiced his support in Parliament. He praised the farmers for maintaining a “peaceful” campaign during the long and challenging protest.

Reacting to the news, he said: “The farmers didn’t deserve to be so mistreated. They have made enormous sacrifices to preserve their way of life, against fears of major corporates taking over the agriculture sector. Their overwhelmingly peaceful, determined campaign has borne fruit.

“This issue has touched many of my Slough constituents and I received significant correspondence to stand up for the farmers’ human rights. More than 3,000 Slough constituents signed an official Parliamentary petition, that received well over 100,000 signatures from across the UK, which is why the issue was also debated in Parliament.”

The petition was launched by Maidenhead councillor Gurch Singh last year, which received nearly 116,500 signatures, demanding the government to publicly urge the Indian government to ensure the safety of protesters and maintain press freedoms.

Indian farmers protesting the Governments controverisal bill

Indian farmers protesting the Government's controverisal bill

Cllr Singh, whose family is from Punjab, said he started the petition following concerns raised by residents living in the Royal Borough.

He said: “It’s been a difficult year for those protesting with over 700 people sadly losing their lives in the struggle.

“I am delighted that as a local Liberal Democrat councillor, I was supported in my efforts by our local Lib Dem group, the national party including Layla Moran who tabled the parliamentary Early Day Motion, and for all cross-party members from all political persuasions who spoke passionately against what was happening at the petitions debate in Parliament.

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“Looking forward, I do hope this positive government U-turn will once again bring harmony to India and their British friends and relatives and in turn bring the countries together again.

“I will continue to watch this issue closely and ensure the rule of law, justice, fairness, and freedoms are upheld.”