British police have arrested 15 more people in Leicester “to deter further disorder” in the city, following clashes between Hindus and Muslims over a cricket match between India and Pakistan.
In a statement, Leicestershire Police said: “Officers became aware of groups of young men gathering on Sunday afternoon in the North Evington area of the city.
“Officers spoke to them and took steps, including putting in place a temporary police cordon, to minimise harm and disturbance to communities.”
It comes after two arrests were made when police said disturbances broke out at an unplanned protest on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Following an Asia Cup cricket match on Aug. 28, additional officers have been on patrol in the area after a number of incidents of disorder.
Police said on Sept. 16 that a total of 27 people had been arrested in relation to the disturbances.
Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said he was “baffled” by the disturbances in the city as it was normally “very peaceful” with good relations between different communities.
Soulsby said the trouble had been fuelled by some “very distorted social media stuff” as well as people coming from outside to “have a bit of a set-to” in Leicester.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme, he praised the response of the police and said he was confident there would be no repeat of the events on Saturday.
He said community leaders are “doing what they can to bring Leicester to normal.”
Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, also called for calm.
She wrote on Twitter: “This is a time for cool heads. I implore everyone to go home. We can strengthen our dialogue to repair community relations.”
Suleman Nagdi, of the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organisations, told the BBC that the incidents were “very alarming.”
“There have been problems in the community since the India and Pakistan cricket match and while that game often sparks gatherings they have not in the past turned this ugly,” he said.
“We need to get the message out that this must end and try to do this through parents and grandparents talking to their sons,” he added.
Sanjiv Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, said he was shocked by the disorder because the communities had “lived in harmony in the city for many decades.”
“Resorting to violence is not the way to deal with this,” he said.
PA Media contributed to this report.