Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the disturbances were fanned by distorted social media and fuelled people who came in from outside
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
Fifteen people have been arrested in East Leicester in response to public disorder “fanned by distorted social media” over the weekend.
Policing operations continued on Monday although there were no further reports of disorder.
The arrests came after Sunday’s protest which followed large-scale disorder the previous day amid tensions involving mainly young men from Muslim and Hindu communities.
“Officers became aware of groups of young men gathering on Sunday afternoon in the North Evington area” of Leicester city, local police said in a statement.
They spoke to the crowd and put in place a temporary police cordon, to minimise harm and disturbance to communities.
The force said several incidents of violence and damage reported to the police were being investigated. The force said it was aware of a video on social media showing a man pulling down a flag outside a religious building on Melton Road in Leicester.
“This appears to have taken place while police officers were dealing with public disorder in the area”, the force said as it called for dialogue and calm with support from local community leaders.
Dispersal orders had been imposed earlier this month after a few days of unrest believed to involve local Hindu and Muslim groups following an India-Pakistan cricket match in Dubai on August 28.
Press Release: High Commission of India, London condemns the violence in Leicester. @MIB_India pic.twitter.com/acrW3kHsTl— India in the UK (@HCI_London) September 19, 2022
Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the disturbances were “fanned by some very distorted social media” and fuelled “by a lot of people who came in from outside as well as some young local lads.”
“I also know there was also a concerted attempt on Saturday to bring people from as far as Birmingham, to ship them across to have a bit of a ‘set-to’ in Leicester”, Sir Soulsby told the BBC.
Sanjiv Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, said communities who lived in harmony in the city over the years should come to the table and discuss what people were unhappy about.
“Across the Hindu and Jain community and with our Muslim brothers and sisters and leaders we are consistently saying ‘calm minds, calm heads’,” he told the BBC as he denounced violence.
Suleman Nagdi of Leicester’s Federation of Muslim Organisations felt “some very dissatisfied young men who have been causing havoc.”
“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, ” he said and called for an end violence.