UNITED KINGDOM. Leicester: On Friday night, violence broke out in Leicester, United Kingdom, where a large number of people had lined the streets in the eastern part of the city.
This comes after a spate of targeted attacks on the Hindu community followed the Asia Cup India-Pakistan cricket match on August 28. On that day, armed Islamists attacked Hindus and their nearby residences.
Hindus under attack
Leicester’s streets have been swarmed by the police personnel, exercising disposal powers and trying to diffuse the tense situation. Following a protest by Hindus calling for action against Islamist terror, unrest is still present on the streets.
Islamists then disrupted the protest by angrily hurling glass bottles at the protestors. Moreover, a Saffron flag (a sacred cultural entity to the Hindu community) was also desecrated by a mob of Islamists in front of the police.
According to a statement made public by the Leicester police department, a group of men organised an ‘unplanned protest’ on Saturday night, which sparked the violence.
“Parts of East Leicester experienced serious disorder yesterday evening (Saturday, September 17) into this morning (Sunday) when large crowds formed after groups of young men began an unplanned protest,” the statement reads.
“Officers attempted to engage with the group and remain with them whilst additional officers were called in. They sought to keep actions lawful but, regrettably, the situation led to disorder,” it further reads.
Two people have been so far arrested at the site. A total of 27 people have been detained since the dispute began in the city.
Meanwhile, the High Commision of India in London condemned the violence.
Anshul Saxena, a Twitter user and analyst, revealed some information on Saturday demonstrating how plans were made to assault Hindus in the city. Anshul shared how radical Islamists were sharing their stories on social media platforms and planning to attack Hindus.
Following the defeat of Pakistan in the Asia Cup on August 28, Indian fans went home in great spirits. However, communal violence soon erupted as Muslims, especially Pakistani Muslims, took to the streets and began assaulting Hindus and vandalizing their homes in the area. Several videos of the incident went viral last week after the incident.
The videos showed Hindus being assaulted and harassed in their cars while parked in the driveways. Hindu families huddled in their houses and looked stunned. At the same time, massive groups wandered the streets, destroying their property. Most of these incidents of violence and provocative religious indecencies were reported in the Belgrave region.
Notwithstanding the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, since the days of Partition in 1947, cricket matches have historically been ruthlessly fought between these two teams.
The irony is that the sport was introduced by colonial Britishers, who implemented the ideology of ‘divide and rule’, leading to the separation and mass killings of hundreds and thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs who had to cross the border on either side to flee to safety.
Moreover, Hindu extremism, which easily manifests itself in the form of god-fearing, saffron-garbed, waving ‘Bhagwa’ (saffron flags), has been on the constant rise, especially since the rise of the RSS-influenced BJP government in India.
Amid rising popularity amongst the Bhagwas over the prevalent national narrative of who is a nationalist or anti-nationalist, the Muslim minority in India has been jolted and felt disoriented, being called anti-nationals or outsiders in their own homeland.
A simple cricket match can rouse such intense communal clashes of historical and cultural significance that Hindus and Muslims in other countries have denigrated to resort to violence and assault to prove a point.