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Wednesday July 20, 2005
BY K. SUTHAKAR AND KULDEEP S. JESSY
JERTEH: Two days after the Sky Kingdom commune here was attacked by a mob, the whereabouts of the cult leader Ariffin Mohamad, 65, better known as Ayah Pin, is still unknown.
It is believed that police have mounted a search for the leader who is thought to have left the commune on Sunday for an undisclosed destination.
On Monday, state Chief Police Officer Senior Asst Comm 1 Hussin Ismail said Ayah Pin was in the commune during the attack but was not seen after that.
“Don’t ask me where he is now ... we have yet to detain him,” he said.
The commune’s liaison officer Rosli Abdul Samad maintained that Ayah Pin had left the commune at about 3pm on Sunday.
“We do not know where he is but he is definitely not hiding in the commune,” he said.
Rosli said policemen have been stationed inside the commune.
Meanwhile, police have detained a 65-year-old man to facilitate investigations into the attack.
The man was picked up at his Kampung Gong Kemuntong home here at 1.50am yesterday.
State CID chief Asst Comm Lim Char Boo confirmed the matter but declined to elaborate.
Yesterday, police barred newsmen from going near the Sky Kingdom commune.
The Star reporter and photographer were denied entry by two armed police personnel at 8.30am yesterday.
They claimed that the order to bar the media was issued by higher-ups.
“You must get permission from the police officer at the nearby Pasir Akar police station,” said one of them.
In Ipoh, the police inspector detained during a raid on the Sky Kingdom commune in Besut, Terengganu, will be suspended from duty, said Perak police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Zainal Mohd Tahir.
He said the suspension order from Bukit Aman would be served on the 46-year-old officer once the letter arrived.
He said he had been verbally informed by Bukit Aman.
“The inspector, who is attached to the Hilir Perak district police, is now on leave. We will suspend him soon,” he said.
The police were now investigating how long he had been involved in deviant teachings, but initial investigation showed he was not a hardcore follower of the sect.
“Disciplinary action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigations and the decision of the Syariah Court,” DCP Zainal said after attending the state police monthly gathering yesterday.
He said police were monitoring the movements of some people in Malim Nawar, Sungkai and Kampar who were believed to be followers of the sect.
“It is not a serious problem here,” he said, adding that policemen should stay away from negative activities which were against the teachings of Islam and the law.
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