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Dec 16, 2007

Cops thwart Hindraf gathering at Kamunting



The police today stopped Hindraf supporters from gathering at the Kamunting Detention Centre where family members of five detainees were supposed to hold prayer sessions.
Police used a mix of persuasion and psychological tactics to keep Hindraf supporters away from the area - a departure from the use of tear gas and water cannons on the Hindraf and Bersih rallies last month.

However, at least five Federal Reserve Unit trucks and a mobile water cannon were prominently parked on standby at a sports complex about 100 metres from the detention centre. They were never mobilised.

Since early morning, numerous roadblocks were mounted near the detention centre. Every motorist and passengers of Indian origin were stopped to have their particulars recorded by the police.

“I told them that we are going to the detention centre. The policewoman said that they have already arrested 50 people and said that I can go there at my own risk,” said a Hindraf supporter from Kuala Lumpur.

The same scenario was repeated to Malaysiakini by several other Hindraf supporters, but a later check with Taiping OCPD ACP Raja Musa Raja Razak however revealed that no one was ever detained this morning.


The supporters from various states had descended to Kamunting today upon learning that the family members of Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar - would be holding prayers there.

At Kamunting, Raja Musa and him team of policemen were busy urging small groups of Hindraf supporters to leave the area.
“I’m asking you very politely, please disperse. Go to the temple and pray lebih elok (its better),” he told a crowd of 20 people outside the centre (photo).

Unable to gather at the detention centre, the detainees’ families and supporters proceeded to the nearby Sri Mariamman Temple where they freed a symbolic 36 pigeons - five for the detainees and 31 Hindraf held in prison over an attempted murder rap.

A silent prayer session was also held before RS Thanenthiran was unveiled as the movement’s new coordinator following the detention of the five.

“P Waythamoorthy is still the chairperson of Hindraf. He would lead from overseas. I’m just taking care of Hindraf’s local affairs until the five is released,” Thanenthiran told a crowd of 500 supporters at the temple. The organisers however claimed that at least 2,000 supporters were present.

‘People’s power’

Later, the wives of three detainees each gave short and emotional speeches to the crowd.

“There is no truth that my husband is a terrorist. He merely fights for the Indians, for all of you!” said Indra Devi, who is Uthayakumar’s spouse.

Other Hindraf supporters also gave short speeches to the crowd which responded with cries of “Long live Hindraf” and “Long live Makkal Sakhti (people’s power)”.
After gathering for one hour, the crowd dispersed peacefully.

Speaking to reporters later, Thanenthiran said the gathering today was to show support for the five detainees and their families.

“The families are going through a traumatic time. It’s out duty to pray for their well being and the five detainees,” he said.

Thanenthiran said the government should either put the five Hindraf leaders on trial of free them.

police warns

Also Refer : Kumpulan Pelampau Gagal Berhimpun Di Hadapan Kem Kamunting


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