Monday, August 25, 2008

Latest news on Seberang Jaya's arrest of Hindraf leaders and supporters

Two female Hindraf activists released
Athi Veeranggan Aug 24, 08 6:05pm

Two women, who were among the nine Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) activists detained in yesterday’s protest in Seberang Jaya, were released at 2pm today after being held in police custody for nearly 20 hours.

The remaining seven, including Hindraf national coordinator TS Thanenthiran, have been shifted from the Central Seberang Perai district police headquarters to the North Seberang Perai district police headquarters this morning.
KR Santhi, 30, and K Saratha, 34, were released on police bail after Hindraf Perak coordinator A Vethamurthy signed the documents as their guarantor.
When contacted, Santhi said the police recorded statements from all nine activists following their arrest over a protest against a splinter group, which also claimed to represent Hindraf, outside a Chinese temple.

She said the nine were questioned for nearly 12 hours before the women were locked up in a cell until their release.

The activists led by Thanenthiran protested against the splinter group, led by VK Regu and the saffron-clad M. Ramachandran, also known as Ramaji, for organising a Hindu religious prayer under Hindraf’s name at a Chinese temple in Seberang Jaya, which is under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency.

Regu said the event was organised by a Makkal Sakthi movement in collaboration with an NGO to seek divine intervention to secure the release of the five Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act.
It was also done to urge Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to fulfil Hindraf’s 18-point memorandum on Indian affairs submitted to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last year.
Candlelight vigil

Hindraf’s self-exiled chairperson P Waythamoorthy told Malaysiakini via telephone that Regu and Ramaji were no longer involved in Hindraf activities for working against the minority rights group interests.

Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar, T Vasantha Kumar and lawyers M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau have been detained for two years under the ISA.
During the protest, the activists called on Regu and Ramaji not to use Hindraf for their own interests.

Meanwhile, some 50 activists held a candlelight vigil against the arrest outside the SPT police headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam for nearly eight hours.

PKR parliamentarians Sivarasa Rasiah, Tian Chua and N. Gobalakrishnan, and Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar were present to give support.
They said that the arrest was uncalled for and could have been avoided.