MEA Big Statement: Amid incidents of violence targeting the Indian community in Leicester and Birmingham, UK, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it is necessary to prevent such attacks in future and take action against the perpetrators. The Indian High Commission is in touch with Britain.
Earlier on Monday, the Indian High Commission said in a statement that it had taken up the issue “strongly” and called for protection for those affected by the UK authorities following reports of the clashes. At the same time, UK police said in a statement that, “We will not tolerate violence, disorder or anarchy in Leicester and we will continue to call for peace and dialogue.”
Our High Commission in touch with the British side
When asked about these incidents, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi referred to the Indian High Commission’s statement on the violence in the weekly press briefing. He said, “Our High Commission is in touch with the British side. We are in touch with diplomatic and security officials to prevent further such attacks and take action against the perpetrators.
Bagchi said the issue was raised by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a meeting with his British counterpart James Cleverly in New York. Jaishankar conveyed his concerns to Cleverly about the safety of the Indian community there.
There was a clash in Leicester over a cricket match
Late last month on August 28, Hindu and Muslim groups clashed in the eastern UK city of Leicester over an India-Pakistan cricket match. This resulted in the arrest of 47 persons in the past few weeks. 16 policemen were injured while stopping youths from both sides attacking each other. The rumors spread on social media played an important role in this incident.
Violence broke out outside Durga Temple in Birmingham
An incident of rioting took place outside a Durga temple in Birmingham, where India’s Sadhvi Ritambhara was to attend an event and give a discourse. More than 200 people had gathered outside the Durga Bhawan temple to protest against this pre-arranged program. The protesters alleged that Sadhvi Ritambhara was anti-Muslim and had a hand in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The protesters were opposing Sadhvi Ritambhara’s reaching the temple giving this argument.
Sadhvi Ritambhara was to visit Hindu temples in Birmingham, Bolton, Coventry, Nottingham and London from 20 to 24 September there. His tour was organized by ‘Param Shakti Peeth’, an organization established by him and registered in Britain. Sadhvi Ritambhara was to give a discourse, but her program was canceled citing ill health.