The not-so-independent SOAS inquiry into the Leicester violence

An “independent inquiry into the violence in Leicester last year (September 2022) was launched recently by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). INSIGHT UK conducted its research into SOAS and the panel that has been appointed for the inquiry, and our findings raise some grave concerns and serious questions over the integrity and impartiality of the inquiry.

The not-so-independent SOAS inquiry into the Leicester violence
The not-so-independent SOAS inquiry into the Leicester violence


The SOAS inquiry is being funded with a £620K grant from the Open Society Foundations. The Open Society Foundations is a grant-making network founded by none other than George Soros, an openly anti-India and anti-Hindu business magnate.

SOAS and the selected Panel

The current director of SOAS is Adam Mahomed Habib. Professor Habib has faced scrutiny in the past, including a now-lifted ban from entering the United States due to associations with terrorism and for using racially insensitive language (the “N” word).

Adam Habib was denied a visa to the US for ‘links to terrorism.’:

The inquiry by SOAS consists of the below panel;

  1. Suresh Grover
  2. Chetan Bhatt
  3. Juan E Méndez
  4. Schona Jolly KC
  5. Subir Sinha
  6. Lisa Magarrell

Suresh Grover

5uresh Grover
5uresh Grover

Suresh Grover was interviewed alongside one of the Leicester violence instigators, Majid Freeman and attributed blame to Hindus and the RSS for the violence. It is now widely recognised that Majid Freeman played a pivotal role in disseminating disinformation that favoured Islamist propaganda during the Leicester unrest, despite the presence of substantial evidence to support the grievances of the Hindu protestors. Whilst Freeman was lauded by news media for saving a Hindu man who was forcibly removed from his car and violently assaulted by Islamist mobs, they neglected to consider that Freeman is a serial fake news peddler whose lies incited hatred against Hindus (see, for example, his contrived stories about the attempted abduction of a 15-year-old Muslim girl and the fake attack on a Muslim traffic warden.  

Thus, his ‘act of heroism’ appears to be one of manipulation and intelligent design, as opposed to a genuine desire to maintain peace and communal harmony in the city. 

Suresh Grover appeared on a platform with the UK Indian Muslim Council (UKIMC) and has clearly shown his anti-Hindu and anti-India bias. He may try to smear Leicester Hindus with the same paint to try and malign them.

Furthermore, UKIMC is a controversial organisation that tried to block Hindus from conducting grooming and religious conversion awareness sessions in Leicester. Therefore, we firmly believe he is already compromised given he is working with an openly anti-Hindu organisation, for example – Dawood Family Justice – Inaugural UKIMC Conference (see below).

Suresh Grover is known to be anti-Hindu, he defaced the Hindu Aum symbol intentionally with a Nazi Hakencruz onto the Houses of Parliament:

Suresh Grover, projected a desecrated image of the holy Hindu Aum, an ancient symbol of universal harmony and tranquillity, onto the Houses of Parliament,  aligningHindus with Nazis. They appear to have had no qualms about leveraging the terrible suffering of the Jewish people in an attempt to vilify the wholly non-violent British Hindu community. How can the Hindu community trust him to be impartial in this inquiry?

Projection of a desecrated image of the holy Hindu Aum;

He has appeared on an Islamist platform with Majid Freeman (one of the key instigators of the disinformation that spread in Leicester), supporting  Islamists against the protesting Hindus, without any evidence of their reasons for protest. Majid Freeman was also seen present with the mobs that attacked a young Hindu man on the streets of Leicester. In this video he assumes the RSS is involved:  “the RSS [is] organising and creating Hindu nationalist slogans”, when there was no evidence of this. Grover made presumptions,  demonstrating poor judgement and compromising his position on the inquiry.

Suresh Grover works for The Monitoring Group and previously set up a campaign for a Gujarat riots victim. The victim was Muslim. The court case was dismissed and the company was dissolved.


The Monitoring Group’s current director is of Pakistani origin, Jawed Siddiqi.

Chetan Bhatt

Chetan Bhatt
Chetan Bhatt

Chetan Bhatt is a Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE) and came under scrutiny for an article published in The Guardian in which he blamed Hindus for the Leicester violence.

The Hindutva groups in the UK have tried to distance themselves from the Leicester violence, blaming it on “Muslims”. As with the tedious view of the Indian RSS when faced with repeated evidence of its atrocities, they say that Hindu protests, however provocative or violent, are always peaceful, and Hindus are eternally innocent. Locally, some of the established Gujarati communities have blamed recent arrivals from India. Sympathisers of Islamism have blamed the “Hindu right”. They are each following a communal script that is engraved on their political souls.

Bhatt has already compromised the inquiry by making various false statements against the RSS in India in a Ted Talk:

  • False statements against the RSS:
  • Attempting to link an RSS gathering with Italy or Germany in the 1930s.
  • Falsely claiming that a member of the RSS shot Gandhi, he was not a member and had left the RSS due to disagreements.
  • Falsely claiming that the RSS conducts large-scale mass violence against minorities.
  • Falsely claiming that the RSS think they are the original Aryan race. RSS does not claim anywhere that they are the original Aryan race, in fact, they do not believe in the Aryan invasion theory.
  • Conflating the RSS with Salafi Jihadis who are armed and conduct terrorist activities worldwide, whilst the RSS have members of all religions.

How can he be seen as someone who can take up this inquiry when he presents a poor understanding of Indian Hindu organisations and a clear bias?

Juan E Méndez

Juan E Méndez
Juan E Méndez

Juan E Méndez has previously conducted substantial research on apparent violence against Muslims but never against Hindus. Méndez has called for the UN to demand India to protect its religious minorities but never to neighbouring nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both countries have a long history of persecuting their minorities. Pakistani and Bangladeshi Hindus have all but been annihilated after being systematically killed, raped, kidnapped or forcefully converted for decades.

Schona Jolly

Schona Jolly
Schona Jolly

Schona Jolly is an HR Lawyer, and has participated in a webinar alongside Prof. Mukullika Banerjee, who was involved in an incident targeting Indian student Karan Kataria from the London School of Economics (LSE). 

Schona Jolly is also a vocal critic of Narendra Modi on a now-deleted X (Twitter) account – possibly because she is on this panel. It is worth noting that her X account was mysteriously deleted this year (2023). Schona is a strong critic of India in general and a Kashmir separatist.


Subir Sinha

Subir Sinha
Subir Sinha

Subir Sinha, a Reader in Development Studies at SOAS, has been known to draw comparisons between Hindu-ness and Nazis. Also, he is a motivated critic of Hindus, Hinduism and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is therefore already compromised.

Sinha has also already compromised the independence of the SOAS inquiry by involving himself in a report that targets the Indian Prime Minister and the BJP. Whilst neither were involved in the riots, there was a large amount of misinformation that tried to attribute the riots to Indian politics.

See –

Malicious Tweets by Subir Sinha on drawing comparisons between Hindu-ness and Nazis

MEND extends support to the SOAS inquiry

Finally, the extreme Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) group has expressed their support for the SOAS inquiry and has called for a boycott of the Government inquiry.

However MEND itself is extreme, see the section on the controversy on the wiki page:

Serious questions posed

The entire inquiry and its chosen panel pose some serious questions. 

  1. Given the panel’s current political alignment and views about Hindus, Hinduism and India, how can they be impartial?
  2. Will the inquiry truly be independent?
  3. Has the SOAS inquiry already been compromised?
  4. Is the inquiry rigged?

The panel has a clear conflict of interest and is perhaps seeking to undermine the independent government inquiry. In light of the panel’s composition and their known biases, the credibility, fairness and outcome of the investigation can be presumed.

Further research done by the Stop Hindu Hate Advocacy Network (SHHAN)