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Hindraf has terror links: police

india Updated: Dec 19, 2007 14:39 IST

IANS
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The five detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders have "links with international terrorist organisations", Malaysia's police chief has said, justifying their custody under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA) that attracts 20 years' imprisonment.

Police Chief Musa Hasan said investigations into the movement's activities since July had deemed the five leaders, including P Uthayakumar, to be "a threat to national security".

"They clearly have links with international terrorist organisations and they are involved in activities that amount to inciting racial hatred," he was quoted by The Star newspaper as saying.

Hasan claimed to have evidence against them. The proposal to detain them under the ISA was forwarded to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also internal security minister.

Uthayakumar, R Kengadharan, V Ganabatirau, M Manoharan and a senior executive with Malaysia Building Society K Vasantha Kumar, were detained under ISA on Thursday for two years under Section 8(1) of the Internal Security Act 1960.

The five were key officials of Hindraf, which organised a rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 where some 10,000 Indians protested against alleged racial discrimination.

However, Democratic Action Party Chief Karpal Singh, who is appearing with three other lawyers for Manoharan, said this was "a test case" for the other four Hindraf leaders who were also detained under similar circumstances.

"This is the first time in legal history where a home minister has issued an order of detention without requiring the police to detain a person for 60 days to investigate and make recommendations, which is the usual procedure," he said before filing the application at the high court here.

He said the move completely bypassed the requirements of Section 73 of the Internal Security Act 1960, which was the only safeguard for detention without trial.

Musa also said the five were also trying to sow hatred towards the government, adding that their actions could spark racial clashes.

He said inflammatory sentiments were being widely spread through their forums, distribution of books and leaflets, on websites as well as through the short messaging service.

"The fanning of racial sentiments among Indians is very unhealthy and dangerous."

Asked whether the ISA would be used on Uthayakumar's brother, P Waytha Moorthy, who is currently overseas garnering support for Hindraf, Musa did not rule out the possibility.

"We cannot arrest him now as he is overseas," Musa said.


He said the move completely bypassed the requirements of Section 73 of the Internal Security Act 1960, which was the only safeguard for detention without trial.

Musa also said the five were also trying to sow hatred towards the government, adding that their actions could spark racial clashes.

He said inflammatory sentiments were being widely spread through their forums, distribution of books and leaflets, on websites as well as through the short messaging service.

"The fanning of racial sentiments among Indians is very unhealthy and dangerous."

Asked whether the ISA would be used on Uthayakumar's brother, P Waytha Moorthy, who is currently overseas garnering support for Hindraf, Musa did not rule out the possibility.

"We cannot arrest him now as he is overseas," Musa said.