London: Two people were arrested in East Leicester on Sunday after a clash erupted when groups of young men began an unplanned protest, the Leicestershire Police said in a statement.
According to the statement shared by Leicestershire Police on its Twitter handle, "Two arrests were made - one man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder and one man on suspicion of possession of a bladed article. They remain in police custody."
This comes after various videos and reports have been circulating on social media about Pakistani organized gangs being seen vandalising and terrorising Hindus in the UK's Leicester City. The incident follows a spate of violence and disorder in the eastern part of the city.
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.
"Trouble in Leicester, UK. Paki Muslims targeting Hindu households, desecrating religious symbols, using racist slurs (mushirks)," tweeted another user.
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.
The Leicestershire Police today issued a statement on its Twitter handle, saying that "Parts of East Leicester experienced serious disorder yesterday evening (Saturday 17 September) into this morning (Sunday) when large crowds formed after groups of young men began an unplanned protest." "We had additional officers in the area who became aware of a large group of men travelling towards Green Lane Road, Leicester. Officers attempted to engage with the group and remain with them whilst additional officers were called in. They sought to keep actions lawful but, regrettably, the situation led to disorder," the statement added.
The police said that a large number of officers were present for the safety of the people. A large number of people were searched under Section 60 stop search powers to restore calm to the area.
"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 Leicestershire Police assured to continue to call for dialogue and calm with support from local community leaders. "We will not tolerate violence or disorder in our city," police said, adding, "We are asking people to avoid the area while our police operation continues. Dispersal orders are now in place and we have a large number of officers on the ground, protecting our communities." 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."
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