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Temple row: 12 freed by police

Contributed by Anonymous on Saturday, November 03 @ 08:16:34 CDT

Andrew Ong
Nov 3, 07 Malaysiakini
All 12 individuals held by the police in connection with an incident resulting from the demolition of a temple in Kampung Rimba Jaya near Shah Alam were released yesterday.

MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran when contacted said that the 12 have been released on police bail and were not charged.

“According to the police, the deputy public prosecutor will decide whether to initiate proceedings against them,” he said, adding that MIC Youth would provide legal service for the 12 individuals.

A total of 14 people were detained following clashes when Hindu devotees tried to stop the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) from demolishing a temple in Kampung Rimba Jaya on Tuesday.

A 52-year-old woman and a 16-year -old boy were however freed the same day.
Vigneswaran confirmed that the 12 devotees were given immediate medical attention following their release yesterday.

Insensitive and intolerant

In a related development, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) has expressed regret over MBSA’s actions.

MCCBCHST deputy president Bishop Paul Tan described the action taken by the authorities as “insensitive and intolerant”.

“The fact that this huge loss is not caused by earthquake, tsunami or any other natural catastrophe but by governmental agencies has compounded the people’s misery and shock many times over,” he said in a statement today.

Tan who is the Catholic Bishop of Malacca/Johore said any places of worship are sacred places and the authorities must adhere to strict and proper protocals in taking action on such places. 

He warned that the manner in which the authorities have acted in the Kampung Rimba Jaya case could signal other local authorities to follow suit.

The bishop also criticised MBSA for the attack on temple priest Siva Sri Ramalingga Gurukal.

“From reports, it appears he was not armed and did not pose a danger or a threat to the well-being of others. How can such an action be justified?” he added.

Violence intentional?

In a related development, a coalition of 18 Indian community NGOs raised the possibility that the violence inflicted upon devotees during the incident was intentional.

Calling themselves the Selangor Coalition of Indian Community Organisations, the group said they had photographic evidence of violence being carried out by the authorities during the incident.

“We are shocked that they were carrying weapons like iron bars, wood, stones, parangs and it appears that they came with the intention to hurt the unarmed devotees,” said coalition coordinator L Segaran in a statement yesterday.

Segaran said the coalition wants the government to immediately resolve matters concerning religious sensitivities.

“This is crucial to avert any overzealous state agencies and their officers from taking things into their own hands without taking into consideration the history, harmony and stability of the nation,” added Segaran.

(Photos submitted by eyewitnesses)



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