Hundreds of masked men surrounded a Hindu temple in Birmingham, leaving Leicester residents afraid to go outside | Pro IQRA News

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Residents of Leicester are said to be “petrified” to leave their homes after religious tensions sparked clashes in the city and have now spread to Birmingham.

A large number of masked people gathered outside the Durga Bhavan Hindu temple in Birmingham’s Smethwick on Tuesday night to protest the planned event.

As the protesters scaled the surrounding border fence, police with riot helmets and shields were seen facing the crowd and trying to keep them away from the temple.

Riot police can be seen standing around the temple in Smethwick

(Screengrab)

Witnesses claimed that bottles and firecrackers were thrown, and one person was arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife.

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The scenes follow clashes in Leicester on Saturday and Sunday, just days before, when Leicestershire police arrested 47 people following tensions following a cricket match between India and Pakistan.

The incident took place in Leicester as Hindu and Muslim leaders issued a joint statement calling for unity and calm.

“Our two faiths have lived harmoniously in this wonderful city for more than half a century. “We came to this city together, we faced the same challenges together, we fought together against racist haters, and together we made this city a beacon of diversity and community unity.”

Officers approach the protesters as a large crowd gathers

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Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe said communities in her constituency had been traumatized by the weekend’s violence.

“People have told me they haven’t left their house since the first spark at the India v Pakistan cricket match on August 28,” Ms Webbe said. Independent.

“I deal with a large number of communications and residents who need support, especially women and young people. They are petrified, very afraid. They are asked to fear their neighbors, the people they have grown up with for decades.

“People working in factories said they downed tools to go home and protect their families. This is worrying because they are already living in poverty; they cannot afford any more loss of income. This is a real trauma left in the society.”

The tension seems to have spilled over to Birmingham after the clashes in Leicester

(Screengrab)

The former Labor MP, who is now an independent after pleading guilty to assault, fears the situation is not isolated.

So far, one man from Leicester has been arrested for his role in the incident, but police have confirmed several of those arrested are from outside the city.

Amos Noronha, 20, was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in connection with the violence, but no further details of his crime have been released.

Local councilor Ahmed Bostan condemned the scenes, writing: “The despicable scenes witnessed in Smetwick tonight do not represent the harmonious rich diversity of our town and those with malicious intent will be dealt with by the law.

“Our communities stand together against this kind of bigotry and peddlers of hate are not welcome here.”

Ms Webbe warned that “toxic messages of hate” were being spread on social media by extremist groups aiming to incite violence among young people.

“We must be able to tackle the extremism and right-wing fascism that plagues our online media because demonization and incitement to religious and racial hatred is shared and fostered here,” Ms Webbe said.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said an 18-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of using a knife during a protest in Smethwick.

“Following the protest in Smethwick last night [20 September]there were minor riots and one person was arrested.

“We had pre-planned police near Spon Lane Temple where fireworks and flares were thrown at some of our officers. Thankfully, there were no injuries.

“We are also investigating reports of damage to a small number of vehicles.

“We had stop and search powers until this morning to ensure that serious violence did not occur. We continue to maintain a visible police presence, working closely with faith leaders and partners within the community to ensure reassurance.

“We will continue to monitor the situation locally and regionally.”

The Indian High Commission and the Pakistani High Commission on Tuesday condemned the violence.

Leicestershire Police said they had been given a range of resources by deploying extra officers from the West Midlands, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Horses from the Thames Valley Police have also been deployed in the town, adding strength.

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