Tom Mack, Leicester Mercury, September 5, 2022
An emergency meeting between faith communities will be held tomorrow amid ongoing tension between Muslims and Hindus in Leicester. Reports of further violence follow an incident on the Golden Mile a week ago which was caught on camera.
The incident – after the Pakistan vs India match on Sunday, August 28 – involved large groups of people, while racist chanting was heard. A Leicestershire Police officer was assaulted during the violence.
Since then, more attacks have been reported. Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Federation of Muslim Organisations, said: “A meeting will be held tomorrow with the police and other stakeholders to inform people what’s going on and give reassurances to the community that they are taking things seriously.
“I find it very worrying things like this should happen in a city like Leicester where we’re used to such good relations. Sports should bring people together. We need to call for calm, tolerance and peace.”
He urged people to be careful what they post on social media. He said: “I’ve seen reports and videos of more attacks. Some could be old incidents but there are some that have been verified.”
In one tweet this morning, a member of the public complained about more violence taking place, including an attack yesterday. He said: “Woke up to find out about another attack that took place last night in Leicester. Take action before it escalates.”
The previously-reported Golden Mile incident followed an Asia Cup cricket match saw India defeat Pakistan. After the match hundreds of people poured out onto the main road through Belgrave in Leicester to celebrate.
Video footage of the incident showed the moment a fight broke out in Shaftesbury Avenue, off Melton Road. A man’s T-shirt was ripped off as a number of men or youths were seen throwing punches at him and others.
Offensive anti-Pakistan chants could also be heard repeatedly. In the wake of the scenes, Leicestershire Police issued a warning urging people to avoid the area completely.
After the incident, Inspector Yakub Ismail, commander for the East Leicester police, said the police were working to ensure such things did not happen again. He said: “Our officers are there to protect our communities and we take a zero-tolerance approach to them being assaulted in their line of duty.