Indians and Pakistanis in Leicester fight each other over cricket match: Police call for calm – UKMALAYALEE

Indians and Pakistanis in Leicester fight each other over cricket match: Police call for calm

Monday 19 September 2022 8:26 AM UTC

LONDON Sept 19: Over the past three weeks, media in the UK have been reporting on “large-scale” and “serious” disorder in the city of Leicester to the northwest of London after street clashes between large groups of Hindus and Muslims.

According to media reports, trouble started after the August 28 India-Pakistan cricket match and escalated over the weekend.

There has been recurring trouble in the eastern part of Leicester since August 28, the day India and Pakistan played a group stage match in the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament in Dubai, and the weekend’s disorder was the latest of several similar incidents since then, The Guardian reported. India won the game by 5 wickets with 2 balls remaining after Player of the Match Hardik Pandya blitzed a 17-ball 33.

Suleman Nagdi, of the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organisations told the BBC: “What we have seen on the streets is very alarming.

“There have been problems in the community since the India and Pakistan cricket match and while that game often sparks gatherings they have not in the past turned this ugly. We need calm – the disorder has to stop and it has to stop now. There are some very dissatisfied young men who have been causing havoc. We need to get the message out that this must end and try to do this through parents and grandparents talking to their sons.”

Sanjiv Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples across Leicester, said he was deeply saddened and shocked by Saturday night’s disorder.

He said: “We have lived in harmony in the city for many decades but over the past few weeks it is clear there are things that need to be discussed around the table to get out what people are unhappy about.

“Resorting to violence is not the way to deal with this. We are horrified and deplore what was going on (yesterday) and across the last two weeks. Across the Hindu and Jain community and with our Muslim brothers and sisters and leaders we are consistently saying ‘calm minds, calm heads’.”

He warned people to be wary of disinformation on social media.

Meanwhile, India on Monday strongly condemned violence against the Indian community and vandalisation of Hindu premises in the eastern England city of Leicester as it sought immediate action against those involved in these attacks.

In a statement, the High Commission of India here said it had “strongly” taken up the issue and called for protection for those affected from the UK authorities following reports of clashes over the weekend in the city, described as “serious disorder” by the local police.

There have been reports of clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups in the city since fans clashed following an India-Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match at the end of last month.

“We strongly condemn the violence perpetrated against the Indian community in Leicester and vandalisation of premises and symbols of Hindu religion,” the High Commission statement read.

“We have strongly taken up this matter with the UK authorities and have sought immediate action against those involved in these attacks. We call on the authorities to provide protection to the affected people,” the statement said.

Leicestershire Police said its operation in the east Leicester area affected by the disorder continues to prevent any further disorder, with 15 people arrested.

“The impact this disorder is having on our local communities is not acceptable,” the police said in a statement.

“We will not tolerate violence, disorder or intimidation in Leicester, and we continue to call for calm and dialogue. Our police operations and investigations continue with rigour and at scale,” it said.

The force said a number of neighbouring police forces, including the mounted police unit, had been deployed to bring matters under control. Dispersal and stop and search powers were also used to restore calm.
“Officers became aware of groups of young men gathering on Sunday afternoon in the North Evington area of the city. Officers spoke to them and took steps, including putting in place a temporary police cordon, to minimise harm and disturbance to communities,” the police said.

It followed clashes on Saturday evening, when the police said it became aware of a video circulating showing a man pulling down a flag outside a religious building on Melton Road, Leicester, and said the incident would be investigated. Videos circulating on social media showed a temple flag being ripped out.

Police had imposed similar dispersal orders earlier this month after a few days of unrest in the wake of the India versus Pakistan match in Dubai on August 28. The police and community leaders have been calling for calm over the past few weeks, amid reports of men coming in from other cities of the UK to stoke disorder in Leicester.

“It’s mostly young men in their late teens and early 20s and I have heard suggestions people have come in (to the city) from outside looking for an opportunity to have a set to. It’s very worrying for people in the areas where this has happened,” said Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester city mayor.

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