(Malaysiakini) Suresh Grover, the attorney acting on behalf of outlawed Hindu rights group Hindraf, is making the rounds of Indian communities in Malaysia, 'to collect evidence' for its civil suit against the British government.
The suit, initiated and filed by Hindraf chief P Waythamoorthy (right) in 2007, prior to the group being outlawed and its leaders picked up under the Internal Security Act or forced to flee the country, has been in limbo since then.
"Because of the time limitation, we must go to trial before 30 August 2013," said Grover, explaining why his evidence gathering visit is of the utmost urgency.
He was speaking today to over 1,500 supporters of Hindraf and members of the Indian community at the Hokkien Assembly Hall, Klang.
Grover is scheduled to visit more locations around Malaysia to meet with more citizens of Indian descent to explain about the legal challenge, gather evidence and add more names to the list of claimants.
The civil suit which named the British Crown and government as the defendants, is to seek recompense for the alleged victimisation of Indians, whose forced relocation to then Malaya by the Empire, Hindraf claimed, had led to them a life of abject poverty.
Grover said that it is essential that he meet with as many Malaysians of Indian descent as soon as possible to include them in the list of claimants to the civil claim and to use evidence of their current life as a basis for their abject poverty argument.
However he assured those who may want to come forward that as provided under British law, their identity will be kept confidential in case of intimidation or possible reprisal by the Malaysian government. 'It will not stop here'
Grover also condemned the deportation of his fellow London based legal colleague Imran Khan.
"It does not make sense to exclude Mr Khan, when I am also going to do the same thing.
"They (the government) don't want the suit to succeed. They are afraid of you and your tenacity," claimed the London-based legal professional.
Khan (left) who is legal advisor to Waythamoorthy, was supposed to accompany Grover but was deported by Malaysian authorities yesterday for being a "prohibited immigrant.
Grover said that they will not stop there but will continue their fight for the case, including to challenge Khan's deportatation.
"Mr Khan will travel here again," said the lawyer.
The lawyer arrived at the packed hall to the cries of "Hindraf Vaalzhal!" by youths waving the orange flag of the outlawed organisation.
There was no obvious police presence throughout the event although there were individuals who could have been plainsclothes officers.
Prior to his arrival the sizeable crowd gave their rapt attention to videos and slideshow of photos featuring Waythamoorthy and other Hindraf leaders in heroic moments to the rousing 60s era Tamil songs.
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.