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Sikh protest against farmer exploitation in India ends in 13 arrests
6 December 2020, 20:25 | Updated: 6 December 2020, 20:28
A number of people have been arrested after crowds gathered in central London to protest against the exploitation of farmers in India.
Fireworks were set off towards protesters at the Indian High Commission building on Sunday afternoon, the Metropolitan Police said, as officers urged people to leave the area.
Officers said 13 people were arrested for breach of Covid-19 regulations, with nine being held in custody and four released with fines.
Three teenagers who were seen to set off a firework towards a crowd were spoken to by police and fireworks were confiscated from them.
Police said the teenagers were not arrested and there were no reports of any injuries to protesters or officers.
The Sikh Federation UK tweeted a video of the protest, showing dozens of people outside the Indian High Commission waving flags and chanting.
Seige of the Indian High Commission in London in support of farmers peacefully protesting in Delhi #istandwithfarmers #FarmerProtests #Sikhs #Punjab #TakeBackFarmBills #SpeakUpForFarmers #farmerprotestchallenge pic.twitter.com/BWSiF0QyjM— Sikh Federation UK (@SikhFedUK) December 6, 2020
On Sunday evening, Met Police Commander Paul Brogden said: "I would like to thank the officers who policed this protest under very challenging circumstances, and Londoners for their patience following the disruption to traffic caused by the numbers in attendance.
"We had issued a reminder urging those who were planning to attend to reconsider but, unfortunately, a number of people decided not to follow that advice.
"A proportionate policing plan was in place, the demonstration has now concluded and those in attendance have begun to leave."
Farmers across India have been taking to the streets since August to demonstrate against new laws which they claim will leave agricultural workers at the mercy of large corporations.
Many come from Punjab - a contentious region in the country where most of the Sikh population lives and works.
Hundreds of thousands of people from the region and elsewhere - some accused of being members of armed groups seeking to create a new 'Khalistan' region for Sikhs.