Police break up Hindraf rally

Updated on Feb 17, 2008 09:55 AM IST

Malaysian police fired teargas and water cannons to disperse ethnic Indians in Kuala Lumpur, the latest crackdown on protests.

HT Image
HT Image
AFP | By, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian police on Saturday fired teargas and water cannons to disperse ethnic Indians clutching flowers and gathered in the capital, in the latest crackdown on public protests, witnesses said.

Some 300 people defied a police ban and attempted to gather in Independence Square in downtown Kuala Lumpur to protest alleged discrimination, before police moved in, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

“It is an embarrassing attack on the Indian community and on people who just wanted to hand over flowers to the prime minister,” said R. Thanenthiran, one of the rally organisers.

The flower protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations in recent that have rocked the multicultural nation, which is now gearing up for general elections on March 8.

More than 20 people were detained, police said, after supporters of Indian rights group Hindraf turned up near Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square. Police had earlier refused a permit for the gathering.

Indian youths dressed in saffron coloured t-shirts with the Tamil words “Makkal Sakti”, or People's Power, chanted slogans calling for justice and an end to alleged discrimination against ethnic Indians in the country.

More than 200 police approached the crowd before spraying them with water cannons and firing tear gas shells above their heads, the AFP correspondent witnessed.

“We wanted to have 200 children also peacefully give Abdullah flowers but we were tear-gassed and water-cannoned by police,” Thanenthiran said, referring to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Thanenthiran said organisers decided it was unsafe for the children to take part in the protest and they were bused away from the scene.

“We came with a gesture of peace and love and the Malaysian government did not have the courage to accept the roses,” Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy told AFP. Prime minister Abdullah had not indicated before the protest that he would accept the flowers.

Abdullah has said that street protests and anger within the Indian community could have an impact on how the government fares in the general elections.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Monkeypox can spread by touching objects that have been contaminated by the disease's fluids or lesions as well as direct physical contact with the lesions.

    Monkeypox virus can stay on computer mouse, coffee machine for days: CDC study

    A new study on monkeypox by the US disease control body CDC now suggests that the virus can linger on many common household objects for several days despite regular disinfecting. For this study, a home shared by two monkeypox patients was taken up. Researchers found the virus in 70 per cent of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began. These included couches, blankets, a coffee machine, computer mouse and the light switch.

  • The path of flight ET343 over Addis Ababa, as recorded by Flightradar24. When the plane overflew the runway, the autopilot disconnected, triggering an alarm, which finally woke the pilots, who then turned the plane around. (Courtesy: flightradar24)

    Ethiopian Airlines pilots fall asleep on flight, miss landing

    New Delhi: Pilots of an aircraft of Ethiopian Airlines fell asleep mid-air and missed landing at Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, commercial aviation news website Aviation Herald reported late on Thursday. The pilots were later suspended pending an investigation, according to news agency Bloomberg. The incident reportedly took place on Monday when the aircraft was flying from Sudan's Khartoum and was supposed to land at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa.

  • Michael Gove in a file photo. (Reuters)

    Ex-UK minister Michael Gove backs Rishi Sunak for next PM

    Former British cabinet minister Michael Gove on Friday endorsed Rishi Sunak for prime minister and announced an end of his frontline political career, he said in an op-ed in The Times. Gove wrote in the op-ed that he thinks Liz Truss' campaign for 10 Downing Street "has been a holiday from reality." Sunak has the right arguments as they come from his experience of being the chancellor during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gove added.

  • FILE - Armed al-Shabab fighters ride on pickup trucks as they prepare to travel into the city, just outside the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, Dec. 8, 2008.. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

    Al-Shabaab attacks hotel in Somalia's Mogadishu, casualties reported

    Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu in a hail of gunfire and explosions on Friday, with casualties reported, security sources and witnesses said. The assault on the Hayat Hotel triggered a fierce gunfight between security forces and gunmen from the jihadist group who are still holed up inside the building, security official Abdukadir Hassan told AFP.

  • Sweden shopping centre shooting: Two injured, one arrested. (Getty Images)

    Sweden shopping centre shooting: Two injured, one arrested

    Swedish police said on Friday two people were injured in a shooting at the Emporia shopping centre in the southern city of Malmo and one suspect has been arrested. Read: Shooting selection policy set for a tweak again The police are on the scene questioning witnesses and going through material from surveillance cameras. Earlier, police said they had cordoned off the area and asked the public to avoid going to the shopping centre.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now