Business owners start Diwali celebrations stress-free from any radical conflicts

Light and Positivity: Milan Mohan pictured celebrating the festival of light.

By Azim Saiyed

Diwali celebrations kicked off at the Golden Mile on Sunday (OCT 9) in Leicester without any conflict between Hindus and Muslims despite last month’s riots.

Light and Positivity: Milan Mohan pictured celebrating the festival of light.

Milan Mohan, 21, manager and owner of restaurant Milan Di Damao, said: “All the conflicts were caused by extremist mobs from both sides and Diwali will happen in perfect timing to bring everyone together.

“People need to understand that this is not how society works and we should all tolerate each other’s beliefs.

“Diwali is the festival of light and a new start so hopefully we can all stay connected from now onwards.”

Milan Di Damao is a restaurant located in Belgrave Road which was the centre of all the riots between Hindus and Muslims last month.

The restaurant took a blow during the hostile encounter between the two groups when one of the windows was smashed and broken by glass bottles thrown at it.

Mr. Mohan said: “Diwali plays a deeper role in society to bring people together, I have Muslim and Christian friends who come to celebrate and set off fireworks with me.”

Although the restaurant business only started two years ago, it is a favourite amongst the Indian community in the Belgrave area.

Smashed: Fourth window from left broken and covered by wood after the riots.

Last month’s brawls originally occurred due to Pakistan defeating India in the Asian cricket cup.

Mr Mohan said: “It was never about Hindus v Muslims, rather it was about Indian fans and Pakistani cricket fans falling out.

“Diwali is a time of the year where people enjoy together and they come from all over the UK to Leicester because it is the most ethnically diverse city.

“This year’s festival is a chance for us to right our wrongs and create peace between all faiths.”

The Police authorities acted as soon as the violence broke out in the streets by using stop and search powers to make arrests. 

The Golden Mile: Leicester’s famous Belgrave road lit up.

In total there were 47 arrests made and riot police worked strategically to separate the two groups.

Mr Mohan said: “Everything has calmed down in the last four weeks so I feel safe and at ease to celebrate Diwali whilst enjoying with my family.

“It was just a shame to see everything happen the way it did because this isn’t what Leicester stands for.

“I personally feel that social media played a huge influential role in promoting violence and uproar between the two faiths.”

The Golden Mile has been lit up and the Diwali night countdown has started. Diwali will officially be celebrated on the 24th of October.

For more information on the Diwali celebrations in Leicester, click

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