Saturday, February 16, 2008

Not so rosy for Hindraf as cops seal off 31 roads

Saturday February 16, 2008

Not so rosy for Hindraf as cops seal off 31 roads

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 31 roads leading to and around Parliament House will be closed and traffic rerouted in view of an illegal Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) gathering planned for today at Parliament.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the police had to act as Hindraf planned to gather 200 children and their parents to hand over red and yellow roses to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the police would not hesitate to take stern action against the parents and organisers if they went ahead with the gathering that is scheduled to start at 11am today.

The presentation of the roses red and yellow roses to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is suppose to be a symbolic Valentine’s Day gesture, besides urging Abdullah, who is also Home Affairs Minister, to release the five Hindraf leaders held under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The five are P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar.

City police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman said Hindraf’s earlier request for a permit, made at the Sentul district police station, was rejected.

“I also turned down its appeal as I see no justification in allowing the gathering. We are worried for the children’s safety as they would be at risk should anything unruly happen at the gathering,” he added.

“Parents who bring their children to participate can be arrested under the Children’s Act 2001 for putting the children at risk of harm.”

Among the main roads and areas expected to be closed or monitored are Jalan Kuching, Jalan Kepong, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Ampang, Bt 3½ Jalan Cheras, Jalan Duta, Jalan Hang Jebat, Federal Highway and the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Expressway. The Taman Tun Dr Ismail residential area will also be monitored.

Meanwhile, the five Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA have allegedly denied appointing R.S. Thanendran as their national coordinator.

In a signed statement, the five claimed that they did not formally place Thanendran in charge.

Ganabatirau’s brother V. Raidu claimed the five signed and issued the statement at the Kamunting camp on Thursday. A copy of the statement was made available to The Star.

According to the statement, the five claimed that Thanendran should not assume the “self-proclaimed acting leadership of Hindraf” and his press statements did not represent the movement. Thanendran, when contacted, said Uthayakumar’s signature was forged and the four had no right to oppose his appointment as the national coordinator.

“I was appointed by Waythamoorthy and I have nothing to do with those four.”

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