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'No Place for Divisive Ideology in Leicester': Hindus, Muslims Make Joint Appeal

In total, 47 people have been arrested for offences in relation to the unrest in the east of the city.

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani

Leaders of Hindu and Muslim communities in Leicester, England, on Tuesday, 20 September, jointly appealed for harmony in the wake of the violent clashes following an India-Pakistan cricket match.

The president of the city's ISKCON Temple, Pradyumna Das, accompanied by Muslim leaders, read out a joint statement outside a mosque in the city.

“Our message to anyone that sows disharmony between us is clear: we will not let you succeed. We ask all to respect the sanctity of religious places, both mosques and mandirs alike, whether provocation with loud music, flag bearing, derogatory chants, or physical attacks against the fabric of worship,” the statement said.

“We are a strong family, we will work together to resolve whatever concern may arise; we do not need to call up any assistance from outside our city. Leicester has no place for any foreign extremist ideology that causes division."
Joint statement by Hindu and Muslim leaders in Leicester
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47 Arrested, 20-Year-Old Gets Prison Sentence

“In total, 47 people have been arrested for offences in relation to the unrest in the east of the city. Some of those arrested were from out of the city, including some people from Birmingham,” the Leicestershire police has said.

The police force said that it had to be supported by resources from a number of neighbouring police forces, including the mounted police unit, as the clashes escalated over the weekend.

Police also said that a 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon during clashes in the city.

Amos Noronha appeared at the Leicester Magistrates' Court after his arrest during Saturday's incident and was quickly charged due to “overwhelming evidence.”

“The sentence is reflective of the fact that this was a serious offence and he has ended up with time in prison,” said Rob Nixon, Temporary Chief Constable at Leicestershire Police.

“We will not stand for this unrest in our city. There is an extensive policing operation ongoing, acting on information and reports of gatherings, and offering community reassurance,” he said.

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Background

The spate of violence is said to have begun after the India versus Pakistan cricket match held on 28 August, as a part of the 2022 Asia Cup tournament.

Videos of hundreds of people taking to the streets in Britain's East Leicester were circulated on social media, which showed pro-Hindutva crowds raising "Jai Shri Ram" slogans and marching past Muslim localities on Sunday, 18 September.

The demonstration led to clashes in the area, BBC reported. A police spokesperson told the publication that they were investigating "several incidents of violence damage."

More visuals on social media show people raising slogans against Pakistan, along with pro-Hindutva, and pro-Islam slogans in separate incidents.

The Indian High Commission in London on Monday condemned "the violence perpetrated against the Indian Community in Leicester and the vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu religion."

The vandalism mentioned seemingly refers to a video of a man "pulling down a flag outside a religious building" on Melton Road, Leicester, which the police has reportedly taken cognisance of.

(With inputs from PTI and BBC.)

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