Leicester has hit the headlines recently with large clashes between groups of Muslim and Hindu men. This altercation has resulted in 47 arrests and a constant deployment of police to keep the peace.
The violence was sparked by a large group of Hindu men marching through a predominantly Muslim area of Leicester, Green Lane, on September 17.
What’s happening in Leicester is complex and varied depending on who is telling their version of events. The Muslim community claim that new arrivals to the U.K. of Hindu decent are bringing with them extremist ideology from India. There are allegations of the Hindu community hosting hate preachers linked to the ruling party in India that the BJP and others with links to the RSS, an obscure political organization with paramilitary links.
The Muslim community of Leicester has many vocal people who claim the march on September 17 was a show of force and intended to make the Muslim community fearful. Its been claimed that the Hindu men were chanting Hindu supremist slogans and attacking Muslim men in the streets.
The Hindu version of events is that for a period of time, the newly arrived Hindus who have been renting in Muslim-dominated areas of the city have been targeted and attacked for being Hindu. It’s claimed a small but vicious element within the Muslim community intend to push them out of their homes to keep the area populated by a majority of people from Pakistani Muslims decent.
Hindus claim that the march on Saturday was a sporadic display of resistance from a persecuted minority in Leicester. It’s claimed the march was peaceful and the slogans that were chanted were a simple religious greeting called, "Jai Shri Ram," which means, Glory to Lord Rama.
Commentators in the news were quick to label the recent conflicts in Leicester as the result of a cricket game between Pakistan and India rather than ethnic tensions between two migrant populations.
Currently, the situation is still tense with a large police presence deployed in Leicester to keep the peace and deter any further escalation.