Violent clashes between groups of predominantly Hindu and Muslim youths in Leicester deserve an independent review, the city’s mayor has said.
Sir Peter Soulsby said the review, which should be completed within weeks, would examine whether extremist groups and outside organizations encouraged disturbances on Saturday and Sunday.
“We need to understand what happened, why it happened and whether it was inspired by extreme ideologies imported from elsewhere. We need to figure out what we can do to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future. ,” Soulsby said.
The weekend unrest in Leicester was the culmination of weeks of escalating tensions between parts of the Hindu and Muslim communities in the city.
A demonstration took place on Sunday in response to an unplanned protest march through the city by Hindu men on Saturday.
It is widely reported that tensions escalated after a cricket match between India and Pakistan in late August. The fever was further aggravated by videos that circulated online over the weekend showing a man pulling a flag outside a Hindu temple in Melton Road, Leicester, and another video of a flag being burnt.
Nationalist Hindu organizations and Islamic organizations have been accused of inciting tensions online. Others have claimed that nationalist Hindu supporters are part of gangs roaming the city, a claim that has been denied by some youth.
20 people have been arrested over the weekend, a total of 47 people have been arrested. Some have been sentenced for possessing a weapon.
The struggle came as a shock to many residents in Leicester, which has built a reputation as a cohesive city after decades of waves of immigration.
The review is expected to examine whether most troubles involve outsiders. Eight of the 18 people arrested on Sunday were not from Leicestershire. The Guardian revealed that five had come from Birmingham, while one had come from Solihull, one from Luton and one gave an address in Hounslow.
The idea of a cross-agency review was raised Wednesday night at a meeting between local community members, the police and the council, Solsby said.
“We will look at our local universities for someone to review, but the actual format and dispatch have not been finalized yet,” he said.