Singapore — The Singapore Police Force (SPF) issued a statement on Tuesday (Dec 15), warning against persons who have gathered “at various locations” around the country to show their support for farmers in India, who have been holding protests because of three laws passed in India’s Parliament a few months ago.
“The police did not grant any permits for these cause-based assemblies. Police investigations are ongoing,” the SPF said.
The SPF added that it wants to send a “strong reminder that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit in Singapore is illegal and constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act. Also, the police will not grant any permit for assemblies that advocate political causes of other countries”.
The police further reminded that foreigners who are visiting or residing in Singapore should follow the laws of the land. “Those who break the law will be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visa or work passes, where applicable.”
Three farm acts were passed in the Indian Parliament in September, which are largely considered to be anti-farmer by farmers’ union as they would put them under the “mercy of corporate” agents.
Over half of India’s working population, around 263.1 million people, is in the agricultural sector, with many dependent on farming for their family’s daily food needs.
At first, protests were carried on a local level but quickly grew in scale. A movement called “Dilli Chalo” (Let’s go to Delhi) was formed in November with tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana and Rajasthan, marching to the Indian capital, despite Delhi being a Covid-19 hot spot.
And on Nov 26, around 250 million people took part in a nationwide general strike to support the farmers.
People have also taken to the streets around the world in the past two weeks in solidarity with the farmers. From California, New York, and Texas in the United States, to Canada, France, Germany, London and the Netherlands, people have gathered in protest over the laws.
Scholar of religion and history Simran Jeet Singh, who teaches in the US, was recently quoted by CNN as saying: “The pandemic has shown us that there are two economies. Essential workers across the world are suffering. The farmers in India represent all of them, and their resistance to unjust legislation that privileges the uber-wealthy corporations is a resistance that speaks to so many of us all over the world.”
India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices, the largest milk producer to the global market, the world’s second-largest producer of rice and the world’s leading producer of cotton. /TISG