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UK police arrest man who incited ‘anti-Hindu’ sentiments during 2022 Leicester unrest, granted bail

UK police arrest man who incited ‘anti-Hindu’ sentiments during 2022 Leicester unrest, granted bail

NEW DELHI: UK police arrested and charged Majid Freeman on Wednesday with “inciting terrorism and supporting a proscribed organisation”, in connection with a case over his “significant role” in fuelling misinformation and escalating tensions during the 2022 Leicester riots.

“Majid Novsarka, also known as Majid Freeman, 36, of Cecil Road, Leicester, has been charged with encouraging terrorism and supporting a proscribed organisation,” Leicestershire Police said.

He was released on bail and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 24.

Who is Majid Freeman
Freeman, a self-proclaimed community activist, played a significant role in fuelling misinformation and escalating tensions during the 2022 Leicester unrest.

The 36-year-old, described as a “radical Islamist”, has repeatedly spread dangerous lies and unverified allegations about violence in Leicester.

  • He falsely claimed that a Muslim boy was attacked by more than 30 Hindus, despite police saying they had no evidence of such an incident.
  • He alleged that Hindu men tried to kidnap a Muslim girl, which police later investigated, but said the incident did not actually occur as alleged.

Freeman’s social media posts “continued to spread misinformation and label Leicester Hindus as ‘RSS Hindutva thugs’.”

Their false allegations were then amplified and used by journalists to portray events in a biased way against Hindus.

Freeman was being investigated as a key instigator who spread harmful misinformation and false narratives that inflamed tensions and contributed to the unrest in Leicester.

What happened in the Leicester turmoil of 2022
The 2022 Leicester unrest was a series of clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the city of Leicester, England. The unrest began in August–September 2022 after a march of around 300 men, some with their faces covered, who chanted slogans falsely associated with Hindu nationalism.

This triggered counter-demonstrations by Muslim men, leading to increased tensions and violence between the two groups in different areas of the city.

The unrest was preceded by social media campaigns, misinformation and hate propaganda.

Subsequent independent investigations found that Hindu places of worship were desecrated and that Hindu men were specifically targeted by mobs.