15 arrested in communal clashes in Leicester; viral video shows Jai Shri Ram chanting Hindu mob ransack Muslim shops; angry reactions from netizens


Police in Leicester in the United Kingdom have arrested as many as 15 people after fresh clashes broke out in the British city with a sizeable Gujarati population. Meanwhile, a video of Jai Shri Ram chanting Hindu mob ransacking Muslim shops has gone viral on social media platforms. According to reports, clashes saw bottles being thrown, cars being damaged and fights and scuffles.

Large police deployment was needed on Saturday after disorder broke out in the city involving mainly young men from sections of the Hindu and Muslim communities. The police said that trouble started in the area after an unplanned protest. In several viral videos, a group of Hindus could be seen marching through a Muslim neighbourhood chanting Jai Shri Ram and other provocative slogans, often used by Hindutva supporters in India.

The tension between the two communities had started on 28 August after an India-Pakistan cricket match in the UAE. That match was won by India.

Meanwhile, community leaders have urged for peace in the area. Suleman Nagdi from 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.”

Sanjiv Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples across Leicester, 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.”

Leicestershire Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon too urged for calm. In a video message, Nixon said that large crowds formed when groups of young men gathered for an unplanned protest.

He said, “We have had numerous reports of an outbreak of disorder in parts of the east Leicester area of the city.

“We have got officers there, we are taking control of that situation.

“There are additional officers en route and dispersal powers and stop search powers have been authorised. Please do not get involved, we are calling for calm.”

The police were forced to close Belgrave Road in Leicester after a crowd gathered and started an unauthorised protest.

Meanwhile, netizens have reacted with shock and horror over the spread of Hindutva extremism from India to the United Kingdom.