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British MPs fear Hindutva activists plotting new communal tensions in Leicester

London, November 20 (KMS): British parliamentarians have expressed fear that the UK-based Hindutva activists are planning to foment more communal tensions in the country, particularly in Leicester.

One Labour MP withdrew his patronage from her so-called Indian charity after it was accused of publishing offensive tweets about a fellow parliamentarian and members of the Sikh religion.

Hindutva activist Rashmi Mishra, branded by the MPS a ‘divisive figure’ is accused of aggravating tensions between the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities.

Now her supporters are planning to stage a protest in Leicester, where tensions between Hindus and Muslims had already led to violent clashes in September.

They are angry at what they claim is a bias against Hindus shown by Leicester City Council and Leicester University’s Centre for Hate Studies over who was to blame for the disturbances.

In a series of WhatsApp messages Ms Mishra’s supporters state: “Leicester Uni has to be next” and ask “are we going to Leicester?”, stating the action should take place soon.

But there are now fears that any protest of this kind could again raise tensions between different faith communities in the city.

Dr Chris Allen, associate professor at the Centre for Hate Studies, pulled out of leading an inquiry into the unrest after his appointment sparked criticism from some local Hindu organisations, along with a stream of online abuse against him.

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, shadow minister for rail and Labour MP for Slough who was targeted on Twitter by Ms Mishra’s charity, told the media: “Given recent events in Leicester, which sadly severely damaged the reputation of this great city, it certainly would not be advisable to hold events that stoke community tensions and raise the risk of creating further disturbance.

“Rather than seeking to divide communities, it would be better if she [Ms Mishra] and her colleagues worked to unite society as a whole, making it a better place for everyone.”

Claudia Webbe, independent MP for Leicester East, said: “Those from racialised groups who engage in identitarianism based on culture or religion allow the Right-wing playbook of divide and rule to continue.

“Leicester East suffers from poor-quality jobs, significant levels of income inequality, high levels of child poverty and desperate levels of homelessness and overcrowding – these are the tensions and issues that should unite us in protest.”

Leicester council said it would not comment on the planned march at this stage.

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