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Tension in Leicester due to Muslim enclaves and their majoritarianism: Report submitted in House gives 4 key recommendations to protect Hindus

The report by Rashmi Samant and Chris Blackburn also found that a concerted attempt was made to defame the Hindu community as 'Hindutva nationalists' and nationwide mobilisation outside of Leicester.

On Thursday (March 23), the Centre for Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights (CDPHR) tabled a fact-finding report [pdf] on the anti-Hindu violence, which took in Leicester last year, before the UK’s House of Commons. The report, prepared by activist Rashmi Samant and political analyst Chris Blackburn, highlighted how the Leicester attack on the Hindu community was a direct assault on “democratic institutions and rule of law.”

It pointed out how the Islamists weaponised misinformation to undermine freedom of expression, committed human rights violations by targeting practitioners of Hinduism and attempted ethnic cleansing that resulted in the temporary displacement of Hindu families.

To ascertain the reasons and key circumstances that led to the anti-Hindu Leicester violence, CDPHR sent a team of researchers to ground zero. In their report, Rashmi Samant and Chris Blackburn found that the unrest took place primarily in the East Leicester area.

The findings reveal that East Leicester is a Muslim-dominated area with a minority presence of the Hindu community. The report noted that the attack on Hindus was a direct fallout of territorial tensions and localised majoritarianism (of the Muslims in East Leicester).

“Symptoms of territorial ethnic cleansing were found through the analysis of the different slogans and speeches made by the majority community of East Leicester and the temporary displacement of Hindu community as a result of the unrest,” CDPHR said in its report.

Screengrab of the CDPHR report

The report also found that a concerted attempt was made to defame the Hindu community as ‘Hindutva nationalists’ and nationwide mobilisation outside of Leicester (only succeeded in Birmingham)

“There was an increased misuse of law enforcement and security measures and appropriation of public good by false reporting to the police and local media bodies regarding the actions of the Hindu community,” CDPHR emphasised.

“Institutional Hinduphobia and bias was deduced through the analysis of the reporting of the Leicester unrest by the media houses BBC and the Guardian when compared to the verified police reports, witness accounts and corroborating reports from think tanks,” it added.

Recommendations given by the fact-finding report

The fact-finding report by Chris Blackburn and Rashmi Samant gave 4 recommendations to prevent unrest and targeted violence, as witnessed in Leicester between August and October 2022.

  1. The report emphasised the need to tackle misinformation on social media by promoting media literacy among the general public and increasing collaboration between social media platforms, governments and civil society organisations.
  2. It further stated that biased media reporting must be curtailed by holding media outlets accountable, supporting independent media that report facts, enforcing regulations to promote impartial reporting and encouraging transparency.
  3. CDPHR sought curtailing sentiments of majoritarianism and transnational political externalities by promoting tolerance, and pluralism and educating the public about democratic values and the dangers of majoritarianism.
  4. Lastly, the report highlighted the need to stop growing Hinduphobia and secure the vulnerable mico-minorities by developing laws that prohibit hate speech, and discrimination, providing legal recourse to victims and adopting the definition of Hinduphobia.

Think tank found no evidence of RSS, or Hindutva gangs in Leicester

In November 2022, a UK-based think tank debunked the false claims made by Islamists about the presence of ‘RSS terrorists’ and ‘Hindutva extremist organisations’ in Leicester city.

The disinformation was peddled by Islamists to rationalise their targeting of the Hindu community and camouflage their acts of aggression as violence perpetrated in self-defence.

The Henry Jackson Society (HJS), founded in 2005, released a 39-page report [pdf] on November 3 and concluded that the false allegations had exposed the Hindu community in Leicester to hate, vandalism and assault.

“Contrary to press reports at the time, the investigations did not find Hindutva extremist organisations operating in Leicester, but instead discovered a micro-community cohesion issue falsely presented as an issue of organised Hindutva extremism and terrorism,” the summary of the report read.

HJS emphasised, “It finds that false allegations of RSS terrorists and Hindutva extremist organisations active in the UK has put the wider Hindu community at risk from hate, vandalism and assault.”

“Some members of the Hindu community in Leicester imposed a voluntary curfew, some relocated to stay with family or friends until they felt safe to return, while still others were unable to return to work owing to fears for their personal safety,” it further added.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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