Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canadian Federal Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has waded into the controversy surrounding the ongoing farmer protests in India.

In a tweet, Singh described the “violence perpetrated” by the government against “peacefully protesting” farmers as “appalling”. Stating he stood in “solidarity” with the farmers, he called upon the Indian government to “engage in peaceful dialogue” with them.

His brother Gurratan Singh, an MLA in the Ontario assembly also joined in, tweeting he felt the “pain and struggle of farmers protesting laws that threaten their livelihoods.”

Pro-Khalistan separatist groups in Canada have also joined the chorus of opposition to the farm laws against which the protests are being held. Sukhminder Singh Hansra, the senior member of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Canada branch, wrote to Canada’s foreign minister François-Philippe Champagne, seeking intervention to protect the “fundamental rights” of the protesting farmers, adding that the Canadian Sikh community was “monitoring the situation very closely.” Hansra, one of the leading proponents of Khalistan in Canada, framed the matter in terms of self-determination.

The separatist Sikhs for Justice has announced plans to open call centres in US, Canada, UK, France and Germany to take online applications to “reimburse” farmers for their losses, while also trying to leverage that promise into registering them for the Khalistan Referendum. SFJ has been forced into postponing the so-called Referendum 2020 to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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