Police chief vows to probe all involved in Bersih chaos
Ismail vowed that the probe will be completely transparent. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — Police will investigate all parties for offences during Saturday’s tumultuous Bersih 3.0 rally, including its own personnel, The Star reported on its website today.
“Even if it is our men (the police), they will have to be answerable,” Tan Sri Ismail Nor was quoted as saying by the daily.
The probe into the events during the day will also be fully transparent, the Inspector-General of Police pledged.
“There is nothing for us to hide as there are many policemen who are currently serving jail terms for offences,” Ismail added.
But the police chief also asked that his force not be singled out for the chaos that ensued after force began firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.
“However, justice must be for all, not only for the demonstrators and the media, but also for our men.”
He also pledged to investigate reports that media personnel were assaulted while covering the event, while others either had equipment seized or destroyed.
“I am concerned about the reporters that were roughed up and I want to look at the bigger picture of what transpired that day,” Ismail said.
Police have come under criticism from the Bar Council, rights groups and opposition politicians for its handling of Saturday’s rally. Among others, it has been accused of being more brutal in its response than the July 9, 2011 Bersih 2.0 that led to the global condemnation of the Najib administration.
The Bersih rally for free and fair elections turned chaotic when Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel began firing tear gas and water cannons after demonstrators breached police lines in their attempt to reach Dataran Merdeka.
The event was initially planned for the historic square but authorities had secured a court order on Friday barring its use for public assemblies until May 1, forcing Bersih supporters to splinter into groups.