1 arrested after protest outside UK Hindu temple

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An 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife. (representative)

London:

A “minor disorder” during a protest outside a Hindu temple in the city of Birmingham that saw fireworks aimed at police officers has led to the arrest of one man and the use of stop and search powers, British police said on Wednesday.

Videos of Tuesday’s protest outside the Durga Bhawan Temple on Spon Lane in the Smethwick area of ​​the West Midlands city circulated on social media overnight, with groups of masked men shouting and throwing objects. Police officers could be seen holding and pulling some of these masked men as they tried to climb over the temple gate.

“Following a protest rally in Smethwick last night (September 20), there was a minor disturbance and one person was arrested,” West Midlands Police said in a statement.

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“We had a pre-planned police presence near the temple in Spon Lane, where fireworks and rockets were thrown at some of our officers. Fortunately, no one was injured,” the police said, adding that it is also investigating reports of a “small number” of cars is damaged.

The 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife will be held for questioning on Wednesday.

“We will continue to provide a visible police presence and work closely with faith leaders and partners across the community to provide reassurance. We will continue to monitor the situation locally and across the region,” the police said.

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The protest was reportedly called by local Muslim groups against a planned visit by a Hindu activist from India to the temple in Birmingham, which police had announced earlier on Tuesday had been cancelled.

“We understand that this (protest) is related to concerns about a speaker at the temple in Spon Lane, but we have been informed that the event has been canceled and this person is not staying in the UK,” Sandwell local police posted on Twitter on Twitter. Tuesday.

The speaker would be Sadhvi Ritambhara, founder of Param Shakti Peeth, who would travel to the UK from India. However, the protest continued despite announcements that such a scheduled talk did not take place.

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The clashes in Birmingham follow “serious disorder” between Hindu and Muslim groups in the eastern England city of Leicester in the wake of a cricket match between India and Pakistan late last month. It has resulted in 47 arrests in recent weeks and on Tuesday community leaders gathered outside a mosque in the city to call for harmony.

The Indian High Commission in London on Monday strongly condemned the attacks on Indian expatriate communities in Leicester and this was followed by the Pakistan High Commission in London on Tuesday issued its own condemnation of the attacks on its expatriates.

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