Leicestershire Police is encouraging people to prepare for Navratri and Diwali as normal, despite the recent unrest in East Leicester.
The nine-day celebration for Navratri, begins today (September 26), with events planned across the city and county at temples and community centres. The festival, which celebrates the nine manifestations of the Hindu Goddess Durga, is considered to be one of the most sacred festivals on the Hindu calendar.
It is the first time that people have been able to celebrate Navratri in all its glory, since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Diwali will start on Sunday, October 9 with the famous lights switch on and culminates with a firework display and entertainment on Diwali Day on Monday, October 24.
Despite recent events in East Leicester, Leicestershire Police are encouraging people to prepare for Navratri and Diwali as usual.
Assistant Chief Constable Adam Streets said: “There will be visible and dedicated police presence as normal throughout the celebrations. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that these events take place safely for the enjoyment of our communities.
“Our city has a proud history of diversity and cohesion and we want all communities to celebrate as they would wish and without fear. A small number of people have sought to cause division and we have and will continue to take robust action to deal with them as investigations continue.
“All those celebrating Navratri and Diwali are reminded to follow our usual advice to celebrate safely. This includes being careful with candles and divas, securing your property, not using fireworks and sparklers in public places and reporting any suspicious behaviour by calling 101 or reporting online. Always call 999 in an emergency.”
PC Rajan Popat is chair of the force’s Hindu Police Association (HPA).
He said: “Myself and many of my colleagues will be celebrating Navratri and Diwali, both of which are close to my heart.
“Navratri in particular signifies unity, celebration, and family gathering. Recent events have highlighted the need to celebrate all faiths and to come together as one multi-cultural city so on behalf of the HPA, we wish everyone a safe celebration.”