CALLS have been made for an independent inquiry into the police’s handling of a case which saw ten men acquitted of violent disorder today.
The Asian men were charged after rival protests took place in Rotherham town centre on September 5, 2015 in the wake of the child abuse scandal.
A far-right protest came just weeks after Muslim pensioner Mushin Ahmed (81) was murdered in a racist attack, which prompted campaigners from a rival group to stage a counter protest.
The men told the court they were acting in self defence as they made their way home from the counter protest and were subjected to racist abuse from white men.
Supporters who backed the Asian men launched a campaign dubbed the Rotherham 12 in February with the slogan ‘self defence is no offence’ and called for the charges to be dropped.
Two of the men pleaded guilty at the outset of the four-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
Speaking after the verdicts Suresh Grover, campaign co-ordinator, said on the day of the demonstration “the police led the local community towards danger and left them unprotected”.
He added: “Public confidence in the South Yorkshire Police is at an all time low.
“It can only be gained if there is a rigorous independent inquiry into their conduct and behavior into this case and other well known cases.
“Unless the police change their mindset and treat people with respect nothing will change.”
Watch the full statement here: