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Police investigating online posts about gatherings showing support for India farmers, warn against holding such protests

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Tuesday (Dec 15) it had been alerted to social media posts showing people gathering in support of farmers in India and that investigations on these were ongoing.

“The police did not grant any permits for these cause-based assemblies,” said the authorities in a news release.

SPF also issued a “strong reminder” that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit in Singapore is illegal, adding that it would not grant any permit for assemblies that advocate political causes of other countries.

“Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore should abide by our laws. Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visa or work passes, where applicable,” SPF said.

The protests in India, which began in August and have intensified in recent weeks, are aimed at farm reforms that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described as the biggest the country has seen in decades.

Laws approved in September will allow potential bulk buyers to link up directly with farmers, bypassing government-regulated wholesale markets and layers of commission agents.

While Modi has said that the laws will help farmers prosper, opponents say that the reforms will drive down crop prices and devastate their earnings, while eliminating the commission agents, who are the main line of credit for thousands of farmers.

Protestors have dug in around New Delhi, blocking some of the capital’s major roads, and five rounds of talks between farmers and the government have failed to resolve the impasse.

Shows of solidarity with the farmers have been reported among Indian communities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States./CNA


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