Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Illegal organisation: Five from HRP charged

Five Human Rights Party (HRP) members have claimed trial before the sessions court in Selayang to a charge of participating in an illegal organisation.

The five are HRP vice-president K Tamil Selvam, information chief S Jayathas, K Navakrishna, T Periasamy and S Loshna Rau.

They are alleged to have committed the offence under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1996 while partipating in a HRP-organised convoy at Bukit Kanching, off Jalan Ipoh in Rawang, on Feb 13.

Loshna Rau faces an additional charge of obstructing a civil servant on duty, under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

The prosecution was led by DPP Raya Ridha Abdah Subri while the five accused were represented by P Uthayakumar, who is also HRP secretary-general.

Uthayakumar said that his five clients have refused to post bail set at RM2,500 because they believe that they have done no wrong.

"My clients said that they were acting in the public interest, particularly for the Indian poor against institutionalised racism," he said.

Appeal to be filed

He said his instruction now was to file an appeal before the High Court in Shah Alam, within 10 days, for the case to be dismissed.

Uthayakumar said the current whereabouts of his clients was unknown as the police refused to tell him where they are being held.

Earlier today, police arrested Selvam at his home in Kampung Benggali in Rawang.

"Three patrol cars stopped in front of his house while he was with his wife and children, and served him with a warrant of arrest," Jayathas told Malaysiakini before he was arrested.

At 3.15pm, Jayathas and three others were arrested at the HRP headquarters in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur, and taken to court.

The Feb 13 event saw numerous convoys participated by HRP and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) activists in protest against the use of the novel Interlok in secondary schools.

Critics of the novel claim it portrays the Indian and Chinese communities in bad light.

The police clamped down on the convoys and arrested 59 people.