Home / News / World /  UK: Violence erupt in East Leicester post India-Pak match, 15 arrested

Fifteen people have been were arrested in UK's East Leicester on Sunday after a clash erupted when groups of young men began an unplanned protest, the Leicestershire Police said in a statement.

The clashes happened between fans following an India-Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match held on 28 August. On 19 September, the police further said that no further reports of disorder have been reported. They also told the locals to call on 101 to report such any incidents in East Leicester.

Releasing a statement on the arrest of 15 people on Twitter, the Police wrote, “A policing operation to deter further disorder continued in East Leicester on Sunday 18 September. It was supported by resources from a number of neighbouring police forces, including the mounted police unit. Dispersal and stop and search powers were used to restore calm. Fifteen people were arrested during this evening's operation. They all remain in police custody."

“Officers became aware of groups of young men gathering on Sunday afternoon in the North Evington area of the city. Officers spoke to them and took steps, including putting in place a temporary police cordon, to minimise harm and disturbance to communities," it further wrote.

The Police further added that the impact the disorder is having on local communities is not acceptable.

“The impact this disorder is having on our local communities is not acceptable. We will not tolerate violence, disorder or intimidation in Leicester and we continue to call for calm and dialogue. Our police operations and investigations continue with rigour and at scale," it wrote.

"There have been no further reports of disorder. We would like to thank the local community for their support in reducing tensions. Please report any incidents by phoning 101 or online via orlo.uk/fggaB, they said.

Clashes in East Leicester

The clashes between fans happened following an India-Pakistan Asia Cup cricket match held last month. The clashes spilled over into “serious disorder" on Saturday and the early hours of Sunday in the city of Leicester in eastern England. The UK police also called for calm in the area.

Reports circulating on social media claimed the spark this weekend was a protest march, with footage showing police attempting to hold back two sets of crowds as objects such as glass bottles were thrown, and some people could be seen carrying sticks and batons.

Earlier on 18 September, Leicestershire Police had arrested two people. One man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder and another on suspicion of possession of a bladed article. 

The violence took place on August 28 after India won the match against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022, following which a fight broke out in Melton Road, Belgrave, leading to 27 arrests so far, according to a UK-based media publication Leicester Mercury.

"Gangs running riot and escalating attacks on Hindus. Innocent Hindus have been terrorized in their own properties, there have been attempts to stab and there has been rampant vandalism of Hindu properties," Rashami Samant, a human rights activist tweeted earlier.

Rumours of an attack on a mosque surfaced on social media on Saturday, which the Leicestershire Police dispelled saying, "We've seen reports on social media that a mosque is being attacked. Officers on the ground have confirmed this is not true. Please only share information on social media you know to be true."

A dispersal order was put in place until 6 am which allows police to stop and search anyone where they suspect serious violence might take place. They can also order anyone away from a specific location and not to return for 48 hours, or return anyone under 16 to their home, the publication added.

"Several incidents of violence and damage have been reported to the police and are being investigated. We are aware of a video circulating showing a man pulling down a flag outside a religious building on Melton Road, Leicester. This appears to have taken place while police officers were dealing with public disorder in the area. The incident will be investigated," the police further said.

The police while calling for calm told everyone to return home and asked to share the information that has been checked and is true.

After the reports of the clash on Saturday night, the Leicestershire Police Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon, in a video message shared on the Twitter handle, said, "We have had numerous reports of a disorder on the streets of Leicester tonight, Saturday, September 17 We have got officers there, we are taking control of the situation, there are additional officers en route and dispersal powers, stop search powers, have been authorised. Please do not get involved. We are calling for calm."

Police had imposed similar dispersal orders earlier this month after a few days of unrest believed to involve local Hindu and Muslim groups in the wake of India versus Pakistan match in Dubai on August 28.

On Friday, Chief Constable Nixon said there had been a total of 27 arrests as part of the “policing operation in the east Leicester area" and even issued a message of thanks to the community for continuing to work together to call for calm in the area, news agency PTI has reported. 

"I don't think anyone saw the confrontation (on Saturday) as a likely outcome and police had been given reassurance things were calming down a lot," said Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester city mayor.

"It's mostly young men in their late teens and early 20s and I have heard suggestions people have come in (to the city) from outside looking for an opportunity to have a set to. It's very worrying for people in the areas where this has happened," he said, as he appealed for calm.

Sanjiv Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples across Leicester, told the BBC that all groups have lived in harmony in the city over the years. “But over the past few weeks, it is clear there are things that need to be discussed around the table to get out what people are unhappy about. Resorting to violence is not the way to deal with this," he said.

"Across the Hindu and Jain community and with our Muslim brothers and sisters and leaders we are consistently saying 'calm minds, calm heads'," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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