Right wing group writes to UK PM Liz Truss on Leicester riots

In a letter to UK PM Liz Truss, the VHP’s central working president, Alok Kumar, wrote, “These violent, hateful, and extremist acts are entirely unidirectional, and unilateral."

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Vandalism of a Hindu temple in UK's Leicester triggered violent clashes

The Vishva Hindu Parishad has expressed its “deep concern and alarm at the ongoing violence in Leicester in which a large number of Hindus of Leicester, their places of worship, their cultural and religious symbols have been wantonly targeted and damaged by Islamic extremists and hoodlums”.

In a letter to UK PM Liz Truss, the VHP’s central working president, Alok Kumar, wrote, “These violent, hateful, and extremist acts are entirely unidirectional, and unilateral. However, a strong but false narrative is being constructed that it is the Hindus of that area who triggered this wanton violence, and are responsible for the same.”

“Several Hindus have been assaulted, and some of them have also been admitted to the hospital. Numerous Hindu places of worship in Leicester have been violated and desecrated. In fact, just today, a violent protest was held near a very prominent Hindu religious and cultural Centre in Smethwick in Birmingham. Hindus are being terrorised for removing symbols of their heritage, traditions, culture, and religion and a few Leicester Hindus had, out of fear, to comply. Many houses and properties of Hindus have been damaged. Many Hindus living in the impacted area have not sent their kids to school for several days now. Nothing of this sort has happened to Muslims, Islamic symbols or places of worship,” the letter said.

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Kumar, in his note, blamed the local police and authorities for the violence. “The local police and administration has been lax and irresolute in quelling such violence. Leicester Hindus have been subjected to violence and intimidation continuously since September 4, 2022.”

“We request that strong and immediate efforts be made to protect Hindu lives, dignity and property. We also urge that strong punitive action be taken against all who are involved in such violent and heinous hate-crimes. Finally, we request that the UK government under your strong leadership should not view the recent Leicester riots as a one-off event. These riots are a part of a continuum. They arise from an ideology of hate, aggression and violence,” the letter said.

LEICESTER VIOLENCE

Incidents of violence were reported in the UK’s Leicester after a cricket match between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup on August 28. Fresh violence was triggered in the city after reports of a Hindu temple vandalised by unidentified men clothed in black emerged. There were social media videos circulating showing a temple flag being ripped out and glass bottles being hurled.

The Leicestershire Police have arrested around 50 people so far for their involvement in the violence. The police had to call in support from a number of neighbouring police forces as clashes escalated in the city.

The leaders of the Hindu and Muslim communities issued a joint statement to end the violence in the city. The community leaders demanded that the “inciters of hatred” leave Leicester alone and called for an immediate cessation of provocation and violence, both in thought and behaviour.

Also Read | Scared would be understatement: UK's Leicester riot witness

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