PUTRAJAYA: The 10 supporters of the banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), who were arrested outside the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday, were remanded for three days for assisting an illegal organisation.
Hindraf leader P. Waythamoorthy’s wife K. Shanti was released on police bail on Thursday night. Their six-year-old daughter Vwaishhnnavi, who had followed Shanti to the police station, left with her mum.
Another two €“ S. Jayathas and Mary Lourdes €“ are in Putrajaya Hospital after they complained of being unwell.
At about 8.30am, the group of eight men and two women were brought to the Kajang magistrates court at the Palace of Justice, which was surrounded by about 80 Federal Reserve Unit personnel.
However, remand proceedings started much later and dragged on until 3.15pm.
Only family members and lawyers were allowed into the courtroom and they had to exchange their MyKad for passes.
At around noon, there was a minor commotion when Mary Lourdes, who is believed to be suffering from diabetes, fainted in the midst of remand proceedings.
She had to be carried out of the courtroom into a car and taken to the Putrajaya Hospital.
This was the first group to be picked up by police since Hindraf was declared illegal by the Government on Oct 15.
They had been at the Prime Minister’s Office trying to hand in a memorandum calling for the release of the five Hindraf members held under the Internal Security Act when they were arrested.
Magistrate Nurdiana Mohd Nazari allowed the remand order under Section 48 of the Societies Act for assisting an illegal organisation, which carried a penalty of RM15,000 or five years’ jail.
Earlier, M. Manogaran, one of the six lawyers representing the group, criticised the heavy police presence in the court complex, saying that he would make a complaint to the Bar Council.
“Why are there FRU personnel in the court of law? This is not the Government’s court or (Home Minister Datuk Seri) Syed Hamid Albar’s court.
“This is the first time where a lawyer is being asked to turn in his MyKad so that he can see his clients. They won’t even accept my MP’s card,” he said.
Manogaran, who is also Teluk Intan MP, said supporters should not be remanded at a time when Deepavali was so near.
Several Opposition MPs €“ including Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng and Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam €“ were present.
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