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Sunday, February 27, 2011

109 detained in ‘Interlok’ protest


Police confirmed today that a total of 109 people were arrested during today’s Hindraf protest against the controversial ‘Interlok’ textbooks and “Umno’s racism”, including eight leaders, eight women and two journalists.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah told a press conference at the KL police contingent headquarters this afternoon that the protesters were arrested for illegal assembly under Section 27 (5) of the Police Act.

The eight leaders, believed to be both from the outlawed Hindraf movement, were also being investigated under Section 45 (1) of the Societies Act.

The two journalists, both from the alternative media, said Zulkifli, were arrested under Section 186 of the Penal Code for allegedly obstructing the police from carrying out their duties.

The detainees, he added, were aged between 18 and 66 years, and were picked up from various checkpoints across the city including Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), Maya Hotel, Renaissance Hotel and a Hindu temple in Pudu.

“We were forced to take action against them because although their permit applications were rejected, as well as their appeal, they still proceeded with their gathering and carried out their march,” he told reporters.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in separate locations since early this morning in an attempt to carry out the protest to voice out Indian outrage against the controversial ‘Interlok’ novel and to condemn “Umno racism”.

The protesters’ attempts were however thwarted due to heavy police presence at several checkpoints across the city.

The group however moved their march to a Hindu temple in Pudu this afternoon and successfully marched some 1km towards the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters where they faced-off with the police.

A large group of protesters are still camping outside the station and have pledged to stay until their leaders are released.

But Zulkifli told the press conference this afternoon that the police had the power to detain the protesters for as long as 24 hours for investigation.

“I cannot confirm yet when we are going to release them. But we can detain them for at least 24 hours,” he said.

Watch this video on the incident:

MORE TO COME

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