Malaysiakini was alerted to the arrest of M Gobalakrishnan, 26, whose name appeared as the contact person on fliers promoting the anti-Interlok forum by a representative of the Human Rights Party (HRP) this afternoon.
"They came to his house at 12.30pm today, without an arrest warrant. They picked him up and took him to the local police station.
"I believe they arrested him for organising an illegal event," the Indian party's information chief S Jayathas said when contacted.
However, Jayathas (left) said, the forum would go on despite the absence of Gobalakrishnan, who was picked up by six plainclothes police officers.
"We will go on with it, and hold the event at another venue in the same housing area," he said, adding that HRP was not daunted by the police
sealing off the original venue chosen for the forum.
In a note issued later in the afternoon protesting Gobalakrishnan's arrest, HRP secretary-general P Uthayakumar said the HRP activist was being held incommunicado and denied access to lawyers.
“This police act is in violation of Article 5 of the federal constitution, which guarantees the liberty of a person and right to counsel,” Uthayakumar said.
He also said party vice-president K Tamilselvam contacted the police, who confirmed that Gobalakrishnan was arrested for sending out text messages promoting the forum.
No details on welfare of arrested man
However, Tamilselvam failed to obtain any further information on Gobalakrishnan's welfare or where he was being held.
HRP, the political party rebirth of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), has been on the warpath against the use of Malay literature textbook Interlok, which is due to be implemented for Form Five students this school year.
Its main contention is the use of the word 'pariah' in the novel written by national laureate Abdullah Hussain to describe several characters in the story who are immigrants from India.
Today's pre-emptive strike is the latest in a series of arrests that saw 63 HRP leaders and members arrested nationwide last week, and another 16 in Perak last night.
However, all 79 picked up by the police have already been released. The 63 were released within 24 hours of their arrests and the 16 about 3am today.
Jayathas and other HRP notables are planning to take their grouses over the arrests and other dissatisfactions to the United Nations tomorrow, having fixed an appointment for 1.30pm at the international body's Kuala Lumpur office.
seals: hmmmm Only in Malaysia......