Man arrested after protest at Hindu temple in Smethwick

Police drew their batons to move the masked mob away from the fences surrounding the temple as members stood inside
Police drew their batons to move the masked mob away from the fences surrounding the temple as members stood inside

West Midlands Police were on scene in riot gear to disperse large crowd of masked men who were chanting

A man has been arrested following a protest at the gates of a Hindu temple.

A crowd of over 100 people had gathered outside the Durga Bhawan Temple in Smethwick, West Midlands. Fireworks and missiles were thrown at the police, and an 18 year-old was arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife.

Police were seen with riot helmets and shields confronting the crowd, believed to be predominantly Muslim men, and attempting to move them away from the temple while protesters climbed the surrounding boundary fence.

The scenes followed unrest in Leicester just days earlier, where clashes places over the weekend with 47 people arrested. It was believed that tensions had boiled over following a cricket match between India and Pakistan.

However, community leaders from across Leicester have said the relationship between the Sikh and Muslim groups have been strained for months - with the recent cricket match simply a trigger for the ensuing disorder.

Leicestershire Police said they are investigating attacks on both communities, including assaults on Muslim men and the egging of a Hindu family's home.

West Midlands Police said it was aware of a planned protest over an event at the Hindu Cultural Resource Centre in Smethwick.

The event had been cancelled and the speaker involved was no longer staying in the UK, police added.