Friday, August 8, 2008

Four Hindraf activists held at Commonwealth meet

Andrew Ong Aug 7, 08 7:41pm

Four Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) activists were arrested near the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) today for failing to disperse on police orders.

Dang Wangi OCPD ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman told reporters that the four, including a woman, were arrested at the roadside while "picketing."

According to the detainees' lawyer N Surendran (photo:far left), the group were among 30 activists who were leafleting at the 54th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference at KLCC at 3.30pm.
The leaflets were meant to raise awareness among international lawmakers of the two-year Internal Security Act (ISA) detention order against five Hindraf leaders.

However 15-minutes later, the police tried to disperse the group resulting in the four - S Jayathas, S Poobalan, K Balakrishnan and B Susila - being arrested.

"They were given 20 seconds to disperse before they were ambushed while leafleting in the rain," said Surendran when met at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters later.

‘Woman locked up with men'

Surendran also complained that Susila, 41, was being held in a police lockup with seven other unknown men.
"This is unacceptable. Was she treated this way because she is affiliated with Hindraf?" he asked.
At the Dang Wangi police station, Surendran, accompanied by Kapar MP S Manickavasagam and Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran, held a short discussion with Zulkarnain.
Manogaran told reporters later that Zulkarnain had confirmed that Susila was held in a cell with men but a woman police officer was stationed outside the cell.

Manogaran also said they were assured of Susila's safety by Zulkarnain. The police chief however refused to comment on Susila's detention when approached by reporters.
Zulkarnain refused to divulge details of the investigation but said that investigations were being conducted according to Section 27 (5) of the Police Act.

"There are foreign guests there and we must ensure their security," he said when asked if the four were arrested because of tightened security at the KLCC area.

Latest news, all released under police bail
All four of them later were released under police bail at 7.30pm and all were required to present at Dang Wangi Police Station on 7th Sept 2008. All four were cheered by the big grooup of supporter whom been at Dang Wangi station since the arrest news spread. There were about 30 supporters waited for the release and welcome the 'heroes' with Vaalge Hindraf Makkal Sakthi slogan in the police compound itself.