NEW DELHI - INDIA voiced its concerns on Friday about a crackdown by baton-wielding Malaysian police on ethnic Indians in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said New Delhi was disturbed by reports about the use of force against the protesters in the multicultural Islamic country.
'This is a matter which does concern us,' Mr Singh told a joint news conference with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in New Delhi.
'Whenever Indian citizens abroad or people of Indian origin living abroad run into difficulties, that obviously is a source of concern to us,' he added.
The prime minister's comments came as a cabinet minister said New Delhi was taking up the issue with Kuala Lampur.
'The matter is being taken up through diplomatic channels,' junior parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Pachouri told India's parliament, where MPs have accused Malaysia of mistreating ethnic Indians.
At least 8,000 protesters including women and young people massed on Sunday near Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas Towers - meeting stiff resistance from police, who beat them with batons and used tear gas and water cannon.
The rally was officially in support of a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit accusing former colonial ruler Britain of being at the root of Indians' economic problems by bringing their ancestors here as indentured labourers in the 1800s.
But it was more squarely aimed at the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno), which stands for Malay interests and has ruled the nation since independence a half-century ago. -- AFP