New Delhi: In the wake of violent clashes in the eastern England city of Leicester, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Liz Truss to ensure the protection of Hindus there and strict action against those targeting them.
In a letter to the UK prime minister, VHP working president Alok Kumar claimed that the Hindus have “continuously” been subjected to “violence and intimidation” in Leicester since September 4 and accused the local police and administration of being “lax and irresolute” in quelling “such violence”.
“We request that strong and immediate efforts be made to protect Hindu lives, dignity and properties. We also urge that strong punitive action be taken against all who are involved in such violent and heinous hate crimes,” Kumar stated in his letter to Truss.
“Sans such strong actions, peace and the social fabric of the country will get damaged,” he added.
The law and order must be restored and due protection of law to all Hindus, particularly those living in Leicester and Birmingham, be provided, he demanded.
“We also urge that strong punitive action be taken against all who are involved in such violent and heinous hate-crimes,” the VHP leader added.
The VHP is an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“The VHP is deeply concerned and alarmed at the ongoing violence in Leicester in which a large number of Hindus, their places of worship, their cultural and religious symbols have been wantonly targeted and damaged by Islamic extremists and hoodlums,” the VHP working president claimed in his letter to the UK Prime Minister.
“These violent, hateful, and extremist acts are entirely unidirectional, and unilateral. However, a strong but false narrative is being constructed that it is the Hindus of that area, who triggered this wanton violence, and are responsible for the same,” he said.
The VHP said it has requested the UK High Commissioner in India for an appointment to convey its concerns over the violence against Hindus in Leicester.
“We have not received any response till yet. Therefore, this letter is sent by e-mail,” the RSS affiliate’s working president Kumar stated in his letter to the UK prime minister.
On Tuesday, leaders of the Hindu and Muslim communities in Leicester presented a united front as they appealed for harmony in the wake of violent clashes following an India-Pakistan cricket match that have led to 47 arrests.
Pradyumna Das, president of the city’s ISKCON Temple, read out a statement joined by community leaders outside a mosque in the city to express “sadness” over the violence which escalated over the weekend.
The community leaders demanded that the “inciters of hatred” leave Leicester alone and called for an immediate cessation of provocation and violence, both in thought and behaviour.
India on Monday strongly condemned violence against the Indian community and vandalisation of Hindu premises in Leicester and sought immediate action against those involved in these attacks.
In a statement, the High Commission of India in London said it had ”strongly” taken up the issue and called for protection for those affected from the UK authorities following reports of clashes over the weekend in the city, described as ”serious disorder” by the local police.