In a related development, menteri besar's political secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad accused the home minister of abusing his power for meeting up with the residents who were purportedly involved in the 'cow head' protest.
"It is a big question mark when a minister meets up with the residents who are being investigated for being (allegedly) involved in the cow-head protest last week," said Nik Nazmi in a statement.
"It is now obvious Hishammuddin tried to give political asylum to this group by abusing his power as a home minister who is in charge of the police force," said Nik Nazmi.
In a separate statement, Malaysian Bar president K Ragunath expressed its disappointment that the home minister had "trivialised" the gravity of the incident by "not denouncing the offensive actions of some of the demonstrators and instead accepted their weak explanation".
He added that Muslim-majority area should not be the factor in building a place of worship for any faith as " (we live in a) uniquely multi-ethnic and multi-faith society".
On the same note, the Bar also believes that although individuals can be allowed to exercise their rights to assemble peacefully, it does not mean they can "disrespect, insult or incite intolerance towards others and their beliefs.
Residents: They were Umno members
Met by press today, some Section 23 residents claimed that five of the protesters came from the same neighbourhood and "they are all Umno members".
A resident who requested anonymity claimed that the person who was holding the cow's head throughout the protest was Azmir Md Zain, an Umno patron for Section 23.
"Besides him, I can recognise that the other four as also Umno members, including the organiser Mahyuddin Manaf," said the resident.
Meanwhile, Section 23 Hindu committee pro-tem president K Rajah has also rejected Hishammuddin's statement yesterday that some Hindu residents were against the proposed temple plan.
"We have collected over a hundred signatures in a petition to support the temple being relocated here and not one is against the idea," he said.
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