One year has passed since the turmoil that unfolded in Leicester, yet justice remains elusive. The discussions often harken back to the events of 1992 and 2002, with a continued quest for answers. The Hindu community in Britain rightfully demands an official inquiry into how what initially seemed like local scuffles in Leicester, driven mainly by reactive hooliganism, spiraled into a chaotic outpouring of anti-Hindu sentiment. Such an inquiry would compel witnesses and wrongdoers to participate in hearings and provide testimony under oath.
While funding for researching Khalistani extremism is important, it is equally vital to address the fundamental human right of practicing one’s faith without fear, discrimination, or attacks. The sight of the saffron flag (sacred Hindu flag) being desecrated, while a mob of bigots surrounded a place of worship openly with the police in view, raises troubling questions.
There should be no debate about who initiated and exacerbated the situation. Thorough research conducted on the ground, supported by police reports, videos, photographs, and interviews, paints a clear picture. It is painfully evident that those who targeted Hindus on that fateful day are the same individuals who harass and bully other minority communities, whether they are Shia, Ahmadiyya, schoolteachers, or even members of parliament. The police require no further briefing on how a particular group of individuals, driven by a form of religious nationalism that previously led to partition and the loss of millions of lives, consistently perpetuates street-level harassment.
One year after the distressing scenes witnessed in Leicester, it is disheartening to see the same Maajid Freeman participating in the desecration of a Hindu festival, recording people’s celebrations, and thereby employing the same tactics that contributed to last year’s breakdown in law and order. It is alarming that a man (Dr Chris Allen) who was captured on video asserting that 9/11 was a conspiracy theory was appointed by the biased leader of Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby to lead an inquiry into the events.
We will not forget what transpired, and we will ensure that the lessons are not left unlearned.