Leicester Attack on Hindus

From late August to the 20th of September 2022, Hindus and Hindu temples in Leicester were targeted and attacked. Violent attacks and vandalism of homes by Islamist mobs over 3 consecutive nights of the 4th, 5th and 6th of September 2022, had left the Hindu community in Leicester afraid for their safety.

Leicester attack on Hindus: The real story
Leicester attack on Hindus: The real story

What followed was two weeks of disinformation and fake cases being filed against largely innocent Hindus, by Islamists. Rumours were spread deliberately on social media to fuel the fire and incite violence against Hindus in Leicester. Saturday 17th September 2022 was another dark night when Hindus were attacked, leaving many injured. The early hours of Sunday 18th September were marked with attacks on Hindu-owned businesses and property.

Why Leicester

Leicester is the heartland of the Hindu community in the UK, having thrived there for more than 70 years. Leicester has the second-highest Hindu population in Europe. It hosts the largest Diwali celebration outside India and has acted as a hub for the British Hindu community to live peacefully for decades.

Demographics of Leicester

Leicester Demography [1]

  • Christian: 181,882 (32.4%)
  • Muslim: 104,413 (18.6%)
  • Hindu: 85.327 (15.2%)
  • Sikh: 24,700 (4,4%)
  • Buddhist: 2 245 (0.40)
  • Jewish: 561 (0.1%)

Political Demography of Leicester [2]

The current composition of Leicester City Council out of 54 seats:

  • Labour: 50
  • Independent: 2
  • Lib Dems: 1
  • Conservative: 1

Sunday 28 August 2022 — Banter between cricket fans


India cricket fans of all religious backgrounds celebrated on the streets of Leicester after India’s victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup cricket match, just as they have done without any incident for the past 70 years. The police presence is usually low as the risk of incidence is low. The fans sang celebratory chants, none of which were offensive. Extraordinarily, they were confronted by a man who was abusive towards them and violently snatched an India flag out of a fan’s hand, assaulting him and those around him. In response, he was confronted by India cricket fans who were upset at the man’s abusive behaviour and disrespect shown to the Indian national flag. He was physically rebuked by a handful of cricket fans. A few of the India cricket fans tried to calm the man down and looked after him to ensure that the situation was under control. Fans chanted ‘Pakistan Murdabad’, meaning ‘down with Pakistan’, in reference to the defeat of its cricket team at the hands of the India cricket team. No mention of Islam or Muslims was made. No political sloganeering was chanted. The cricket fans consisted of all faith backgrounds. [3] 

Over the following days, Sunny Hundal (extreme left-leaning journalist, former deputy editor for the Independent), Guz Khan (comedian and actor), and many others on social media stoked the flames of religious hatred by falsely equating the cricket fans with Hindus, the Hindu community, and non-existent Hindu extremists. Warnings were made on social media that violence will soon be coming from the Muslim community. Nothing against Muslims or Islam had  been uttered, but the false narrative spreads like wildfire. [4]

An email sent on 31 August from the police (Chief Inspector Paul Allen) to the Leicester Council of Faiths, states that there were chants, “calling for (we believe) ‘death to Muslims’ in Hindi.” [5] This did not happen and there is no evidence for this. Some simple due diligence, checking the videos or consultation with the community for the translation would have provided this clarity. This careless and false statement continues to be repeated and used by  Islamists to incite violence against Hindus, on the basis of something which did not transpire.

Thursday 1 September 2022

On 1st September, Chief Inspector Paul Allen sent a clarification email that states

  • Good morning all, I need to provide an important update regarding the allegations that we are investigating in relation to the cricket last Sunday.

  • On Tuesday afternoon it was reported that the chanting which had taken place, some of which was captured on video and was circulated on social media, included the phrases (in Hindi) “Death to Pakistan” and “death to Muslims”.  We have investigated this and can find no verifiable evidence that there were any chants of “death to Muslims”.  This is significant in terms of the context and I would encourage you to share this with interested parties.

In spite of the appeal by the Police in the email to share this clarification widely, this was not widely shared, unlike the first letter which created unwarranted anger against Hindus and incited violence.

Claudia Webbe is the Member of Parliament for Leicester East. The Leicester East constituency is where the violence against the Hindu community has occurred. Formerly of the Labour Party, she was expelled after a criminal conviction of harassment in October 2021. She is well known for her anti-India comments and rhetoric. 

On September 1st, she wrote a letter to the Police Chief Constable declaring her support for the Federation of Muslim Organisations. She shared this widely and publicly through her social media. This letter was issued three days after the clash between cricket fans, which was falsely portrayed as a clash between Hindus and Muslims. 

However, it has now been over 10 days since the violent attacks against the Hindu community escalated, and she is yet to make any comment in support of the Hindu community or even directly engage with the victims who are also her constituents.

Sunday 4 September 2022

Another Asia Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan took place, with Pakistan emerging as the victors. What followed was not a clash between sports fans, but targeted violence directed at the Hindu community. The Hindu community had been celebrating the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi on this night when they were attacked by hundreds of Islamists. In one home, after the evening aarti (prayer), people remained inside sitting and talking. The house had a Hindu religious flag outside for the festival, making it clear to any passer-by that this is a Hindu home where they are welcome to come for prayers. The gentlemen were sitting near the Ganesh murti (statue of the Hindu God, Ganesh). The ladies were making a garland for the puja (a Hindu ritual) the next day. The front door of the house had been left open so that other members of the community could enter for darshan (offer prayers). At this point, eggs were thrown into the house through the front door. This is a matter of deep religious insensitivity, especially at the time a religious celebration was taking place. This would be similar to throwing pork into a Muslim or Jewish household. The Hindu family who lives at the property went outside to see who was doing this. They were met by a gang of extremist Muslim youth, with the perpetrators attacking one of the Hindu boys with a long knife. Fortunately, he escaped from harm. The boy’s aunt went to aid the boy and was shockingly punched on the nose. [6] [7]

It was reported that there was a white van full of eggs used by attackers, which was later seized by police later when they arrived but there has been no update on this from the local police.

Monday 5 September 2022

Appeals had been made to all communities to stay calm by community leaders and the police. The Hindu community listened and remained inside their homes [8]. These appeals appeared to fall on deaf ears, as there were hundreds of Islamist on the streets of Leicester, including some from neighbouring towns. There are dozens of videos available and shared widely of the mob. Derogatory anti-Hindu and anti-India chanting was abundant, as well as Islamic sloganeering. The police confirmed the arrest of two men from Birmingham in relation to the incidents that occurred that night. A video shows a crowd on a street outside the home with the Hindu flag, where eggs had been thrown the previous day. A member of the crowd was wielding a knife and stabbed a Hindu male. Someone tried to stab another Hindu boy, who ran to another house. The mob followed them and broke the windows of the house as they tried to force entry. Fortunately, the family was able to save the boy. The flag was violently torn down  from the front of the house where eggs had been thrown and was carried away. This was one incident of many to have taken place that night [9].

Tuesday 6 September 2022

There was a greater police presence on the streets of Leicester. Once again, hundreds of Muslims were out in force and the Hindu community was in a state of fear. Around fifty incidents took place, including damage to houses, windows and cars, and threatening and intimidating residents by banging on their doors [10]. Wherever a house or car had Hindu symbols such as an Aum symbol or Ganesh murti, demonstrating it was owned by Hindus, it was attacked. Significant damage was done to the entrances of two homes. A newly married young lady was at home alone. Her front door was broken by attackers who wanted to enter. In another home, the bottom of the door was smashed in from the outside. When asked why their house was selected, the family said that the auspicious Hindu words ‘Shubh’ and ‘Labh’ were written above their doorway. This was an attack by Muslim extremists on peaceful Hindus. Again, the mob chanted anti-Hindu and anti-Indian sentiments, as well as Islamic slogans. 

Such violence has rarely happened before in the UK and threatens the peace and social fabric of the community. Hindus had remained inside their homes and listened to the appeals of their community leaders to remain calm. The Hindu community has not been informed of the messages shared to the Muslim community by their community leaders. If they had called for calm, the Hindu community did not see evidence of it.

Wednesday 15 September 2022

There were two reported incidents on this day in East Leicester. 

A 22-year-old man from Prospect Hill, Leicester was assaulted by two suspects while he was in his car. He had received a cut lip after being assaulted. It is reported that this was an unprovoked incident and the victim was targeted after his identity was confirmed as a Hindu.

The second happened on Coral Street at approximately 5 pm when a group of youths were approached by two cars. CCTV footage available [11] shows that the group of youths on foot were stopped and people in the first car engaged in a confrontation. The boys started running away as soon as the second car arrived and one person came out walking toward them. Fortunately, no one was injured. Was it another planned and unprovoked attack on Hindus in Leicester?

Community Meetings and Attempts to Build a False Narrative

A meeting was held with various community leaders to conduct peace talks, with the police requesting community leaders to attend. During one of these meetings, an imam of one Mosque said that the Hindu community had been living in Leicester for the past forty to fifty years without causing any issues. He characterised the Hindus who had recently migrated to Leicester from the Daman-Diu area of India as “uneducated people” who were instead the problem. This is an attempt to divide the Hindu community. It was openly claimed at this meeting, in the presence of police officers, that this was a result of the changing political scenario in India. No direct evidence was offered for such claims. Another Muslim representative questioned why there were “orange RSS flags” on the houses. The saffron flag is an ancient Hindu emblem used by the whole Hindu community. It is displayed on Hindu Mandirs and community halls throughout the country and the world. This was a blatant attempt to shift the blame from the violent mob to the victims, the Hindu community itself, by painting a false narrative of the existence of Hindu extremism influenced by politics in India. No evidence was presented for any of these statements, rather what could only be described as racist scaremongering. 

Saturday 17th September: Another wave of attacks on Hindus in Leicester

After the continuous harassment, intimidation and attacks by radical Islamists on Hindus and Hindu properties over the previous two weeks, a spontaneous peace march was organised by Hindus to show solidarity and support to the Hindu victims. 

The march started on Belgrave Road, and went to Melton Road, followed by Green Lane Road where many of the marching group lived. [12] Throughout the march, no chants were raised against any community or religion, let alone against Islam or Muslims. Hindu youth continued the march mostly on the footpath, ensuring no impact on the traffic. There was a presence of local police during the march. 

Provocation and attack on the peace march

Noting the peace march, Islamists started gathering after messages on social media were spread calling for Muslims to descend upon Leicester.

On Fridays, Leicester has seen people praying (doing Namaz) on the road. However, it was a Saturday and a few people blocked the road in the path of the peace march and started praying on the road [13]. The peace march stopped and Hindu youth maintained restraint, no chants were made until the Namaz prayers were done and police cleared the road.

The video shows as the peace march continued, one of the Hindu youths was pulled out of the march and beaten up by two people. Police intervened and the Hindu youth was saved from the attackers and he joined back with the march. It is reported that many people in the march faced such intimidation.

Stepping up the attack, the  Islamists started making their way to Leicester from cities such as Birmingham [14]. An innocent Hindu male driving in his car was attacked and beaten up badly, leaving him with seriousl injuries.[16] [17]. His only crime was that he was a Hindu. An extremist mob also hurled abuse at the police officer attending to the victim [15]. It is reported that almost a week after the incident, the injured Hindu man is still hospitalised.

The violent mob started vandalising cars belonging to Hindus, identified by Hindu symbols on the car and suggestive number plates.

Attack on the Shivalaya Temple and the desecration of Hindu flags

Islamists gathered outside the Shivalaya Temple on Belgrave Road amongst heavy police presence. In front of the police, an Islamist  youth climbed on the wall where sacred Hindu saffron flags were flying and proceeded to desecrate the sacred Hindu flags [18]. The police seemed helpless as to what was happening due to the number of aggressive Islamists that had gathered [19], and then the flag was burned by the Islamist.

Later, the police released a statement saying “officers were dealing with public disorder in the area” [20] – but videos clearly show they were standing helpless in front of the temple while the flags were taken down and desecrated. Why were the perpetrators who desecrated the sacred Hindu flags not arrested at that point?

On Melton Road, the Hindu youth who were out on a protest march were  trapped  by a huge Islamist mob from both ends of the street. There were two lines of police safeguarding Hindus stuck in between violent Islamists on both sides of the road. The mob was abusive and continued to attack with stones, glass bottles, knives and wooden sticks.. 16 Police officers and a police dog were injured in the attack by Islamists. [22] 

The standoff on Melton road continued for a couple of hours until the Islamists dispersed. Police let them go back without any challenge. However, the Hindu youths from the protest march were frisked and an identity verification was carried out. It is important to note that not a single Hindu youth was found with any weapon and they were allowed  to return home around 3 am on Sunday after  the frisking finished. Injuries to Hindu youth were not checked for or recorded by the police.

The following day, Islamist Mohammed Hijab further incited further violence against Hindus through his hate speech attacking the Hindu idea of reincarnation. Muslim extremists cheered with chants of “Allah Hu Akbar” [21]. From London to Leicester, Hijab openly spews hate and violence. Why is he still on our streets?On Sunday, during the day many Hindu businesses were attacked, and after sunset, cars were searched for Hindu symbols and vandalised. A violent extremist mob was on the street damaging properties but with increased police presence a few arrests were made. A man who had been sentenced for carrying a knife on Sunday 18th, said that he was influenced by social media [23]. This shows again how social media was used to spread disinformation inciting hatred and violence against Hindus.

The Impact

Many houses and properties of Hindus were damaged. Two Hindu men survived an attack with knives, many were injured including women and one man who was hospitalised and in critical condition. 

The Hindus of the area remain in fear after weeks of violence and intimidation. The Hindus in the impacted area did not leave their house and did not send their children to school for 3 to 4 days last week. Some families have left their homes out of fear of violence, and are yet to return. The local Hindus have removed Aum symbols and the words ‘Shubh Labh’ from the front of their homes. Devotees of Mata ji, the mother Goddess, have removed any photos that were on display in their windows and cars so that the houses or cars cannot be recognised as Hindu s from the street to safeguard from the recurrence of targeted attacks.

A video has been shared widely where young girls are performing the traditional folk dance of Garba in public. In the video, a man using derogatory language raises a question as to why they are doing this in front of a Mosque. Garba represents a celebration of the feminine divine; to raise such questions is to demonstrate intolerance of other communities openly practising their traditions. 

Incidents such as these are not new in Leicester. In July 2017, radical Islamists pushed a Hindu man carrying an India flag off his motorbike, causing him serious injury. No firm action was taken by the police then, and many more incidents are happening now. 

Violence and significant threats of violence continue unabated against the Hindu community. Social media has become a hotbed for Hindu hatred, and incitement to violence against the Hindu community is a real threat. The anti-Hindu chanting of the mobs clearly indicates their hatred for Hindus. 

There was no threat from the Hindu community before, and there is no threat now. Even after all the Leicester Hindu community has suffered, nothing against Muslims or Islam has been uttered by the community to this day. 

Extremism has been a substantial blight on our society for decades, but it hasn’t come from the Hindu community. Unfortunately, the past few weeks clearly indicate that Hindus are fast becoming the biggest and most targeted victims of it. How are the authorities going to guarantee the safety of the Hindu community from extremists when serious violence can occur at any time?

Appendix of Evidence

[1] Census 2021 and World Population Review

[2] Cabinet Leicester: https://cabinet.leicester.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx

[3] Video: https://twitter.com/i/status/1568608540692041728

[4] Sunny Hundal Tweet: https://twitter.com/sunny_hundal/status/1564662378712780805

[5] Letter by Leicestershire Police: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608548531085313

[6] Attack on Hindus: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608607255826432

[7] Ganesh Murti: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608613719048199

[8] Appeal for peace: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608648741502978

[9] Muslim youth attack Hindus: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608658442911744

[10] Third night of attacks: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1568608724914212864

[11] Incident with Youngsters on Carol Street https://twitter.com/insightleicestr/status/1570729201753554945?s=46&t=dEv9hcWnnA6Cg_stX5lq9A

[12] Spontaneous peace march: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627771523829762

[13] Blocking and praying on the road: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627835407187974

[14] Islamists start arriving to Leicester from outside cities: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627854734823426

[15] Hindu male beaten. Abuse hurled at officer: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627875249156097

[16] Cars belonging to Hindus attacked and vandalised: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627908765556737

[17] Card attacked: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627946916962304

[18] Hindu temple attacks and sacred Hindu flags desecrated: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627984510754821

[19] Sacred Hindu flag burned: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572627997173112838

[20] Police statement: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572628002743222272

[21] Islamist Mohammed Hijab’s hate speech: https://twitter.com/INSIGHTUK2/status/1572628039569412097

[22] Leicester riots: 16 cops and police dog injured after being ‘outnumbered’ during clashes between hundreds of protesters Leicester riots: 16 cops and police dog inju red after being ‘outnumbered’ during clashes between hundreds of protesters | The Sun

[23] Leicester disorder: Second man sentenced cites social media influence https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-62965416