Monday, February 21, 2011

16 HRP leaders arrested at anti-Interlok forums

Seven leaders and activists of the Human Rights Party (HRP) were arrested earlier today during a forum held by the Indian-based group's on the controversial 'Interlok' novel in Kulim, Kedah.

police arrest human rights party activist in interlok forum 200211 2According to HRP pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar, the seven include HRP president W Sambulingam, Kedah HRP deputy-chief P Muniandy.

Among the others were Kedah HRP coordinator R Ramu, Selangor HRP deputy chief MS Maniam, and activists S Dass, D Raja and CF Mani.

Uthayakumar said the party also expects arrests to be made at a similar forum to be held this afternoon in Farlim, Penang.

The police, Uthayakumar added, have put up notices of arrest against those attending the forum.

According to HRP information chief S Jayathas, all seven activists who were arrested in Kulim were taken to the Kulim district police station.

The police, said Jayathas in a posting on the group's website, had said the forum was illegally held after its application for a permit was rejected.

The forum is part of HRP's nationwide campaign that will culminate on Feb 27 in a march against racism and the Interlok novel.

hindraf feb 27 march against interlok 030211 posterInterlok, written by national laureate Abdullah Hussain, has been accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes.

T-shirts confiscated, again

When contacted, Uthayakumar said the police at the Kulim police station were attempting to repeat the efforts made last week to confiscate the orange-coloured T-shirts worn by the HRP activists as a condition for their release.

"They say that if the HRP activists do not surrender their shirts, they will be locked up for seven days," said Uthayakumar.

"But to us, we will not surrender the shirts. They have become (like) sacred to us," he added.

Uthayakumar, who is also legal advisor to Hindraf, noted that thousands of PAS Youth members gathered in Kota Sarang Semut in Kedah without being disturbed by the police.

These activists nor the members of other NGOs and parties ordered to surrender their 'kopiah' or shirts, he added.

Perak chief P Ramesh, seven others arrested

Meanwhile, the group has also reported at 2.45pm that their gathering at Farlim, Penang was also scuttled.

The Penang CPO reportedly dispersed the forum "forcibly", after which 60 police officers stood guard around the cordoned off hall.

hindraf protest outside Kulim stationThey also expect police raids and arrests at their 6.30pm forum at Simpang Ampat Sri Meenachiamman Temple, Prai.

Following that, it is reported that Perak HRP chief P Ramesh is arrested - for the second time this week - this time outside Kulim IPD.

100 Hindraf supporters led by Perak and Penang HRP chiefs peacefully protested outside the station with placards (above), demanding the release of the seven arrested earlier.

Later this evening, HRP reported that eight more Hindraf and HRP leaders were indeed arrested at Simpang Ampat, Penang, as earlier predicted.



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