Leicester violence: UK think tank rejects reports that RSS and Hindutva groups were involved
After India’s win in the Asia Cup T20 match against Pakistan, violent clashes broke out in UK’s Leicestershire. A mob protestor staged a violent march outside Durga Bhawan temple at Smethwick, Birmingham on 20 September. This incident triggered fears of clashes
A UK-based think tank investigated the recent clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Leicester. It found that the Hindutva and RSS narratives were false. This puts the Hindu community at risk of hate, vandalism, and assault.
Charlotte Littlewood, a Henry Jackson Society Research Fellow, reached this conclusion after interviewing both Muslim and Hindu residents and compiling video evidence and police reports.
Littlewood stated that the investigation did not uncover Hindutva organizations in Leicester, contrary to media reports. Instead, it discovered a micro-community issue of cohesion. This issue was falsely presented by organised Hindutva organisations.
She witnessed a breakdown in community cohesion due to loud festivals, antisocial behavior and a conflict between Hindu youth and Muslim youth. This was due to territorial attitudes towards each other.
After India’s win in the Asia Cup T20 match against Pakistan, violent clashes broke out in UK’s Leicestershire. A mob staged a violent protest outside Durga Bhawan temple at Smethwick, Birmingham on September 20, sparking fears of clashes.
According to the report, the issue of micro-community cohesion in Leicester was falsely presented by Hindutva groups as a problem perpetuated by Hindutva organizations. The report found that the false claims of RSS and Hindutva groups active in the UK have put the wider Hindu community at high risk for hate, vandalism, and assault.
The investigation revealed that some members of Leicester’s Hindu community imposed a voluntary curfew. Some people moved to be with their family and friends until they felt secure returning to work, while others couldn’t return to work due to concerns for their safety.
According to the HJS report, there was significant civil unrest between Leicester’s ethnic minorities from September 4-20, with assaults on property and stabbings as well as attacks on worship places.
The report noted that marches made up of Hindu and Muslim followers took place in the city on the weekend September 17th, accompanied with chants of Jai Shri Ram’ and Allah u Akhbar’.
Balaclava-wearing Hindu and Muslim protestors were also reported. Others were also arrested for weapons possession. The report noted that there had been 55 arrests and voluntary police interviews.
Littlewood spent time in Leicester interviewing both Muslim and Hindu residents and compiling police reports and statements. He observed a “community breakdown” that included loud festivals, antisocial behavior, and a conflict between Muslim and Hindu youth resulting from their territorial attitudes toward one another.
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