SIMPANG RENGGAM: Things turned chaotic at the Simpang Renggam detention centre when 13 detainees being released ran helter-skelter to avoid being rearrested.
In the 6.15pm incident, some of the 13 men managed to escape. Several family members ended up injured.
The drama unfolded just as the 13 were being transported to the main entrance of the centre in a bus.
As the bus approached the gate, the detainees were seen sticking their heads out of the windows and calling out to about 30 loved ones who had gathered outside the centre.
However, the men suddenly became quiet when they spotted some 20 plainclothes policemen and a police truck parked outside the compound.
As the bus stopped just outside the gate, one of the men suddenly opened the vehicle's emergency exit and jumped off, but a group of policemen rushed towards him and stopped him from escaping.
On seeing this, the others started alighting from the bus and tried to make a getaway.
Family members surged forward but a few policemen pushed through the group and managed to hold some of the men down. A few of the just released detainees were seen running down the road.
Later, several of the men, including a number who were injured, were hauled into the police truck.
Many of the visibly upset family members were left crying and tending to bruises.
When contacted, Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail confirmed that eight men were re-arrested but declined to comment further.
At press time, it was still unclear how many of the 13 had actually made off.
Last week the Kuala Lumpur High Court had quashed the detention orders of 15 men held under the Emergency Ordinance. Thirteen of them were held in Simpang Renggam and two in Muar.
Of the 15, seven were represented by Baljit Singh Sidhu and Abd Shukor Ahmad.
Baljit Singh said the police did not act according to procedure as the men had not been informed that they would be re-arrested nor did they know the grounds for the re-arrest.
“This is contempt of court,” he said.