According to UK police, a 55-year-old man was apprehended on Wednesday under suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. This arrest pertains to an incident that reportedly occurred during Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Leicester, where a social media video allegedly depicted a confrontation between a group of individuals of Indian origin and a police officer.
The Leicestershire Police reported that the man was taken into custody on Monday evening and has subsequently been released while investigations are ongoing. The arrest is said to be linked to an "impromptu procession" that followed a previously authorized religious festival celebration, which had concluded earlier on Monday. This action was taken by the police in response to a social media post by a diaspora group, alleging that a police officer had engaged in physical contact with a Hindu priest during the Ganesh Chaturthi procession.
"Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations disrupted in Leicester. Hindu priest pushed around by Sgt Adam Ahmed of Leicestershire police," tweeted Insight UK community group.
As per the police's account, their officers made efforts to interact with the crowd in order to gather information and clarify the situation.
"We can confirm that a man, aged 55, was arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker on Belgrave Road, Leicester, on the 18th September," a Leicestershire Police statement said.
"The man was taken to custody and was since released under investigation as enquiries continue. An authorised religious festival celebration had been successfully facilitated earlier in the evening. We understand an additional unplanned procession was then found to be underway on the street," the statement noted.
"There are legal requirements surrounding processions and therefore officers attempted to engage with the crowd to establish the details of an organiser. This led to an incident, where the man was arrested and is now subject to investigation," it added.
The police department emphasized that their officers are maintaining ongoing communication with the local community and individuals participating in the festivities, aiming to ensure that everyone can celebrate safely.
"We actively encourage any organisers of events to inform the Council so that gatherings can be appropriately supported to ensure the safety of those involved and to ensure the proper flow of traffic in the area," the statement concluded.
The city of Leicester was the scene of communal clashes a year ago, in September 2022, in the wake of an India-Pakistan cricket match. The unrest, which led to several arrests, is now the subject of an independent review set up by the UK government to establish the facts.