Three MPs, three PKR members held at Istana rally

KUALA LUMPUR: Three Members of Parliament were among six people arrested yesterday for participating in a rally in front of Istana Negara.

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Subang MP R. Sivarasa and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin were arrested at 10.30am for protesting against the detention of Hindu Rights Action Force leaders under the Internal Security Act.

Three other PKR members were also arrested.

Special gifts: Children walking to Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur with gifts for TuankuMizan yesterday.

Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said all of them were released on bail by 12.45pm.

He said police arrived at about 10am and asked members of the public, including tourists, to vacate the area around Istana Negara’s main gate.

“Everybody left except for a group who refused to leave. We gave them three warnings to disperse. Deputy OCPD (Supt Azri Abd Rahman) spoke to them, and at 10.20am, I gave them five minutes to disperse.

“At 10.25am, they still refused to leave so we arrested them. No force was used, and they also did not resist arrest,” he said.

At 10.35am, ACP Wan Bari said a group of 70 people, including children, alighted buses parked some distance away and walked to Istana Negara, the official residence of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

“Each child was carrying a basket with flowers and a teddy bear and lined with

yellow cloth. They left the baskets in front of the palace gate,” he said, adding that they left after they were asked to.

ACP Wan Bari said he could not comment further on investigations as “counter-reports have been made” against him for ordering the arrest of the six, and his comments would prejudice investigations.

The seventy children represented the 70 men currently detained under the ISA at the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping.

They were accompanied by their mothers as well as other family members.

The event was organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and joined by members of the Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA.

According to Hindraf national event coordinator Kannan Ramasamy, they gathered to appeal to the King to advise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to release all the ISA detainees.

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