Leicester Mob Violence: High Commission Decries Attacks Against Indian Community
The police and community leaders called for peace after a series of clashes broke out across East Leicester.
Video Producer: Aparna Singh
Video Editor: Harpal Rawat
After mob violence broke out in Leicester, England, the Indian High Commission in London on Monday, 19 September, condemned "the violence perpetrated against the Indian Community in Leicester and vandalization 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.
The demonstration led to clashes in the area, reported BBC, with the police and the area's community leaders calling for peace. A police spokesperson told the publication that they were investigating "several incidents of violence damage."
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. A total of 17 people have been arrested in the violence so far.
Local news outlet Leicester Live reported that a total of 27 people were arrested in connection with the violence as of 18 September, which led to an emergency meeting between the police and community leaders in the area.
Together, both groups called for calm and encouraged people to go home.
'Consequence of Underlying Islamophobia': East Leicester MP Claudia Webbe
On 1 September, East Leicester MP Claudia Webbe wrote to the police about violence breaking out on Shaftsbury Avenue, appreciating their actions in engaging with the community to prevent further violence.
"I am also pleased that Leicestershire Police are treating the incident as a hate crime and conducting an investigation to find out who was responsible for the racialised chanting and violence, whilst providing additional patrols in the Belgrave area," Webbe's letter read.
She highlighted her constituents' concerns that though the "violence was seemingly motivated by nationalist sentiments," they also believed that it was a "consequence of underlying Islamophobia in parts of Leicester's communities, rather than an isolated incident."
In a second letter penned on 14 September, titled 'Incitement to hate and ongoing disturbances in Leicester East,' Webbe informed the police about allegations of hate towards "specific nationalities, race and/or religions" predating the Asia Cup, which implied that the tensions "may be more longstanding" and not related to the cricket tournament.
"There are reports of incitement to hate being targeted at those of Muslim or Hindu faith, which is being shared on social media to cause fear, intimidation and disunity," she said.
Webbe went on to inform the police that she had learnt of "fake social media posts" that were designed to entrap locals into attending a "fake and hateful" event, "which was intent on causing unnecessary alarm, fear, and distress."
She called on the police to ensure that misinformation did not do more harm in the area, and informed them that there might be more "attempts to trigger clashes."
(With inputs from BBC and Leicester Live.)
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