Several Hindu Rights Action Force leaders have been arrested this afternoon under the Internal Security Act and taken to the police headquarters in Bukit Aman.
While there is no official confirmation from the police on the use of ISA against these people, several of those arrested were told that the they were being arrested under the Act which allows for detention without trial.
Among those arrested are Hindraf legal adviser P Uthayakumar, lawyers M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau and organising secretary T Vasanthakumar.
The first to be arrested was lawyer Kenghadharan, at his office in Petaling Jaya about 12.30pm by a team of police from Bukit Aman. He was followed by Ganabatirau who picked up by the police in Seremban. Vasanthakumar was nabbed about 2pm at Brickfields.
The police have been targeting Hindraf lawyers over the past few weeks. The crackdown started with the arrest of chairperson P Waythamoorthy, legal adviser P Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau on Nov 23. They were then charged with sedition in Klang.
Then, Uthayakumar was arrested and charged on another count of sedition in Kuala Lumpur. He was arrested once more and kept overnight in remand before being released yesterday without being charged.
Both Waythamoorthy and Ganabatirau were re-arrested over the past week and released after being held for some hours.
Hindraf has come under the police radar after organising nationwide talks in which they are alleged to have made seditious speeches in relation to the marginalisation of the Indian community.
On Nov 25, Hindraf organised a mass rally in Kuala Lumpur which attracted some 30,000 people, The police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Thirty-one of the protesters have been charged with attempted murder and causing mischief with some of them also facing a third charge of illegal assembly.
Kenghadharan had been active in defending these protesters in court. He is also in the team of lawyers who defended Uthayakumar on the sedition charges.
Meanwhile, Uthayakumar said he expects a further round of arrests against Hindraf leaders and lawyers.
Thursday December 13, 2007
MYT 3:17:38 PM
Five Hindraf leaders detained under ISA (updated)
PETALING JAYA: Police said they have detained all five leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) under Section 8 (1) of the Internal Security Act.
The five are P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasanthakumar. They were picked up at various locations in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Seremban.
They will be detained for two years, Inspector-General Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said in a statement.
On Wedensday Uthayakumar was released on police bail after having been arrested on Tuesday for a second sedition charge.
He was among three Hindraf leaders who were charged at the Klang Sessions Court on Nov 23 for allegedly making speeches to incite hatred at a gathering in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor, on Nov 16.
Hindraf 'playing into gov't hands'Andrew Ong | Dec 13, 07 10:57am
Even as it clamps down on the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), the government is capitalising on its more “extreme demands” to shore up Malay support, cautions the as-yet-unregistered Parti Sosialis Malaysia.
Pro-tem vice-president and social activist Dr D Jeyakumar said he believes the government is using such demands to stir up communal sentiments among the Malays.
“This is creating a certain amount of antipathy among the Malays (thereby adding to) ethnic tensions,” he alleged, citing Hindraf’s claim that there is “ethnic cleansing” of Indian Malaysians.
He was one of three speakers at a forum entitled ‘Malaysia After Hindraf’ on Tuesday night. It was organised by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall civil rights committee.
Jeyakumar said the government reaction is a strategy to deny that Hindraf’s claims - that the Indian community is being marginalised and faces entrenched discrimination - have any basis.
However, he warned that the ongoing attempts to criminalise Hindraf leaders and supporters has only added to discontent within the Indian community.
The other speakers were Hindraf representative A Sivanesan and blogger Nathaniel Tan. Two others invited, lawyer Haris Ibrahim and PAS head researcher Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad were unable to attend the event which drew a mixed crowd of 400.
Sivanesan stressed that Hindraf is not anti-Malay but is targeting unfair policies towards the Indians.
He cited a recent survey that 80 percent of Indians are supportive of the Barisan Nasional government, although he did not discount the possibility of this having changed after Hindraf’s Nov 25 rally and the subsequent hardline stance of the government.
“We did not speak a single word about Malay brothers and sisters or about Malay special privileges. We did not speak a single word about Islam... It is this government which is misleading the public,” said the lawyer.
Sivanesan, who pointed out that the government is using the mass media to confuse the public, also challenged the government to an open debate.
He further claimed that the movement has received a surprising amount of support from the Chinese Malaysian community.
Those in the Malay community “have contributed RM9,632", he said, towards raising bail for Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar who faces two sedition charges to date.
Late yesterday, lawyer Uthayakumar was offered bail at RM50,000 on the second charge. His relatives and supporters manage to raise the sum.