According to recent reports, India has sharply reacted to the "one-sided discussion" of UK MPs on India's farm laws and press freedom, expressing its "deep regret" rather than a "balanced debate". The meeting took place in the UK House of Commons Westminster hall in response to an e-petition campaign.
The Indian high commission in a statement said, "false assertions - without substantiation or facts - were made, casting aspersions on the largest functioning democracy in the world and its institutions."
The statement explained that "raised are the remit of well-established independent democratic institutions" in India, while also expressing concern over "comments.. made to mislead the British Indian community, raising doubts about treatment of minorities in India, alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, etc."
This is not the first time such misinformation has been spread. In the past also, Westminster hall has seen such discussion.
The statement by the mission said that "normally (it would) refrain from commenting on an internal discussion involving a small group of H’ble Parliamentarians in a limited quorum" but when "aspersions are cast on India by anyone, irrespective of their claims of friendship and love for India or domestic political compulsions, there is a need to set the record straight."
During the discussion, UK govt's Minister of State for Asia Nigel Adams had come in strong support of New Delhi, saying, "India's agriculture reforms are India's internal matter."
He pointed, "Our officials from British High Commission in India have monitored and reported back on the protests in response to the agriculture reform laws...we are also aware that government has met with farmers union on several unions, but these talks remain inconclusive and ongoing",
He also added, "understandably these events have caused alarm and uncertainty for many British people who have family ties to the farming community in India. ...Agriculture policy is a domestic matter for Indian govt".
India and UK have seen high-level engagement, with UK PM Boris Johnson to visit India and Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit UK for the G7 summit later this year.
The discussion saw several MPs speaking against India, which included Pakistan origin UK MP Khalid Mahmood, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi. Dhesi said, "imagine our collective pain when we see scenes of tear gas and water cannon and brute force being used against farmer".
Jeremy Corbyn, who was the leader of the Labour Party till last year highlighted the "unprecedented nature" of protest which is the biggest ever "industrial dispute".
UK Bob Blackman, in a separate statement, said, "farming laws have been the process of 20 years of negotiations covering many different Indian govt, and its quite clear, new farming laws will benefit small farmers and low-income farmers."