Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed "concern" over the ongoing farmers' protests in India, the first international leader to do so.

Initiating a meeting with Sikh-origin ministers in his Cabinet, Trudeau said, "the news coming from India with regard to the farmers protests... the situation is concerning. We are all very worried about family and friends. I know that is the reality for many."

"Let me remind you that Canada will always be there to defend the right to peaceful protest. We believe the importance of dialogue and that's why we have reached out throught multiple means, directly to the Indian authoritiesto highlight our concerns," he said.



Earlier, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan took to Twitter to say: "The reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized in India are very troubling. Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right."