Following the cricket match between India and Pakistan last month, members of Hindutva groups attacked Muslims, vandalized homes and other properties in England’s Leicester.
The attacks have prompted Muslims to come out on the streets and protest the brutal behaviour of the Hindutva men resulting in physical altercations. So far, 47 people have been arrested by the people, the Muslim Council of Britain said.
Police had to be deployed after the latest attacks by the Hindu mobs that caused what Leicester authorities termed ‘serious disorder’.
In a Tweet, Leicestershire police said: “Violence and disorder will not be tolerated in our city. Dispersal and stop and search powers are in place and are being used. We are calling for calm and telling everyone to return home. Only share information that has been checked and is true”.
Various footages have emerged on social media sites showing Hindutva members chanting slogans against Muslims and gathering outside Mosques.
Many officers were deployed to London for the Queen’s funeral on Monday – but the chaos taking place in Leicester has led chiefs to redivert them back to the east midlands to be on hand to deal with any further potential unrest in Leicester.
Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon told LeicestershireLive that local officers had previously been deployed to help cover the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II – which is expected to lead to a million people travelling to London to pay their respects to the late monarch.
The Hindutva attacks began following India vs Pakistan Cricket match on August 28, which led to a number of incidents in the days that followed. However the situation appeared to be calming until last night.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain said that it condemns the targeting of Muslim communities in Leicester by far-right Hindutva groups.
The council, in a statement, said that in the past few days, there has been a heightening of tensions among the diverse communities of Leicester, as concerns grow about the rise of violent right-wing Hindutva extremism taking root locally.
On Saturday, September 17th, groups of balaclava-clad men led a march, chanting slogans rooted in Hindutva nationalist supremacism, along Green Lane Road – a predominantly Muslim and Sikh populated area.
This follows a series of provocations, including chanting outside Mosques, targeted mob attacks on Muslims, and vandalism to homes and businesses over recent months. Groups of young people from both communities have subsequently come out on the streets to protest, resulting in physical altercations and running battles.
Whilst faith leaders have shared statements of solidarity and appealed for calm, there is criticism locally of the perceived inaction of law enforcement officers, who failed to disperse the mobs, despite long-standing concerns being raised, the council statement said.
At least 47 people have been arrested as of now; tensions still remain among local groups, and demonstrations continue. There is now a concern of this toxic brand of extremism, imported from India, spreading to other cities, it said.
MCB Secretary-General, Zara Mohammed said: “Communities have expressed their deep concerns to me around the propaganda perpetuated by far-right groups in India and their Hindutva agenda, which we are now seeing expressed on British streets. These provocations have targeted Muslims, Sikhs, and other minorities and as a result, instigated hostilities between local communities in Leicester.”
“We do not believe these people represent the views of wider Hindu communities, with whom Muslims and Sikhs, among others, enjoy good relations in the UK, of which Leicester, historically, is a prime example. We condemn attacks against any place of worship or symbols of religion – hatred of any kind has no place in our society”, Zara Mohammed said.
We call upon all communities to exercise restraint and for local leaders, including the police and politicians, to listen to the concerns of locals objectively and work constructively to diffuse the situation. We must all remain united as we have been for many years and not let this imported hate divide us, he added.