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Thursday July 7, 2011

Cops prepare for possible demos by splinter groups although street rally is called off

KUALA LUMPUR: Police are gearing up to face possible street demonstrations by splinter groups on Saturday although Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga has called off the street rally.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said police were not taking any chances although Bersih had agreed to hold its rally inside a stadium.

“But we will ensure our preventive actions including roadblocks and redirecting traffic will not cause much inconvenience to motorists.

“I have instructed all the state police chiefs and district police chiefs to review their roadblock checks. They will only be carried out if totally necessary.

Chock-a-block: An electronic signboard that reads ‘police roadblock ahead’ is seen along the Damansara - Puchong highway near the Sunway toll plaza, as the traffic builds up in the area. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star

“Our priority is to ensure public order and the safety of every member of the public,” he said yesterday.

Khalid hoped the public would understand why the police needed to remain vigilant in the light of the discovery of Molotov cocktails and machetes in several locations in Gombak and the city centre two days ago.

Khalid also promised to expedite any permit application for the Bersih rally and warned that failure by the organisers to do so might result in stern police action against both the organisers and participants.

He also reminded those who planned to take part in the rally not to wear or have on them any paraphernalia related to Bersih.

He said to date, 3,256 police reports had been lodged nationwide against Bersih, 235 people have been arrested over various offences related to the rally and 29 charged in court.

Meanwhile, police recovered a bag containing four home-made shotguns in Petaling Jaya.

Police said the bag was found by a gym manager outside a shophouse in Taman Seri Manja yesterday.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said the shotguns were found in the bag, which was wrapped in a yellow canvas material.

Related Stories:
MP and PSM colleagues file applications for release
Rais: Rally can't be held in three KL stadiums
Najib: Unregistered Bersih remains an illegal entity
Bersih insists on holding rally at Stadium Merdeka

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