Thursday, January 20, 2011

Five arrested at 'Interlok' demo at Batu Caves

(Malaysiakini) A protest by the Human Rights Party (HRP) urging the government to ban the controversial Malay literature textbook Interlok,turned rowdy after five of its members were arrested including the party's information chief S Jayathas.

NONESome 15 members of HRP demonstrated outside the Batu Caves Temple complex while Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was delivering his keynote speech inside the temple in conjunction with the Thaipusam festivities.

About 20 uniformed police, a riot squad and several plainclothes police personnel moved in on the protesters while Jayathas was reading from his press statement.

The scuffle took place when the protesters attempted to break through police barricades near the temple gate.

Four were seen physically assaulted by eight cops and were later arrested, while the others fled the area.

Demonstrators were also spotted carrying placards - with slogans like "mansuhkan (abolish) Interlok", "Tamil youngster do not support BN" and "We want justice" among others.

The police also stopped bystanders and the media from taking photographs.