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Hindraf Rally [25 Nov 2007] – Police Brutality at Batu Caves

Batu Caves – 25 November 2007, Pre-Dawn

Of all the scenes that captured the police brutality againts peaceful protesters at the Hindraf rally last Sunday at Kuala Lumpur – the one that stays etched in my mind and evokes the most anger is this scene that played out before dawn at the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniar temple :-

 

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       Source: Screenshots

Malaysiakini reported that at 4am, the Sunday morning of the Hindraf rally, police had arrested Indians sleeping inside the Batu Caves temple. Jeff Ooi of Screenshots has the story of what took place at Batu Caves that pre-dawn morning on his website – all captured in a series of 23 photographs that tell its own story. I have reproduced thumbnail versions of some below:

 

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       Source: Screenshots 

Not content with setting up roadblock to prevent any Indian motorist from entering Kuala Lumpur city centre the the day before the Hindraf rally [can anyone say – racial profiling?], the police and FRU descended on Batu Caves early Sunday morning to prevent the people gathered at the temple from attending the Hindraf rally at the city centre. The people were sleeping at the temple, seeking shelter when the police and FRU came loudly knocking at the temple gates.

How would you feel if a police man came knocking at your door in the middle of the night to arrest you? And this is a temple – oh God – how insensitive can the police be – How would you feel if you were seeking shelter in a mosque or a church or a temple and they came for you there?

And here’s the biggest poser – what had you done wrong that hundreds of policemen would come for you with their big riot shields, black batons, tear guns and water cannons? Are you a danger to the public? Have you murdered someone? Hurt someone? Stolen from someone?

NO! Why were you all gathered in the temple? I was praying. I was seeking shelter. I was sleeping.

Is this all a crime? NO!

I am looking for a crime commited in the photographs – is holding a lot of Gandhi pictures with the caption “We Want Our Rights” a crime? Is assembling peacefully a crime? Only in Bolehland, I say!

I was musing what was going to be the Gomen spin on this – were they going to say it was an illegal assembly of more that 5 people without a police permit? I won’t even go into how wrong this is when it is a right of every Malaysian granted under Article 10 of the Federal Constitusion to assemble peaceably and without arms. But I have this to say – this is a temple where people gather to pray – is any gathering in a house of worship an illegal assembly? – so Sunday mass, Friday prayers, Navarathri all we better get permit because otherwise the police might whack us is it? Oh – and did you see any arms/weapons being carried by the people assembled peacefully in all the photos? I tried really hard to see – but all I saw were a lot more Gandhi pictures – and Gandhi-ji will never offer violence to any 🙂

As for the answer of the Gomen Spin Doctors – that comes a little later …

The people were prevented from leaving the temple compound. There were all forcibly herded back into the temple compound and the gates were closed locking all in.

 

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       Source: Screenshots  

Oh – would you just look how eveyone is smiling and waving behind the gate? Does that look like a violent crowd to you? My I can see why the police feels so threatened by this crowd that is locked behind a vast impenetrable gate. So threatened in fact – that they would do this :- 

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        Source: Screenshots

The SHEER COWARDISE of the police. To do this to people that offer no resistance! What provocation could you see was being offered to the police? Look at the pictures – judge for yourselves!

But more than anything else – what gets me the most is that they would treat their fellow man in such a manner. The indignity of it. To herd people in like ‘lembu dalam kandang’ with big batons and riot sheilds and then not content with that – abuse a passive crowd with tear gas and acid rain. This is a sheer violation of human rights!

This country has turned into a police state! How can we let our government do this to us? I am so hopping mad! This is WRONG! THIS IS WRONG! I am standing and shouting over here – THIS IS SO WRONG!

The aftermath …

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        Source: Screenshots

I want to add, how heartened I was that people remember Gandhi’s legacy of non-violent civil disobedience. That crowd cornered by hundreds of FRU and police (read stormtroopers) remembered his message and did not react on the violence directed at them. It is people like this that make me proud to be Malaysian.

 

And then the Next Day – The Star Lies 

And then the next day – the sheer cheek it – this is what the Star Report reports:

KUALA LUMPUR: Demonstrators broke into the Batu Caves temple compound and destroyed temple property early yesterday morning, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said. 

He said the crowd that had gathered there swelled from a mere 200 people just after midnight to more than 1,000 by about 2am. 

“The demonstrators forced open the locked gates and started breaking temple property, prompting the temple committee to lodge a police report,” he said. 

Minutes later several trucks of policemen, including those in plainclothes and members of the Light Strike Force unit, arrived at the temple and told the demonstrators to disperse. 

However, they refused and instead fled into the temple premises, when police gave them a last warning.  

When policemen pursued them, the demonstrators pelted and attacked them with stones and inter-locking bricks, resulting in several policemen being injured.  The demonstrators also threw a Molotov cocktail at a tourist charter bus, setting in on fire. They also shattered the windscreens and windows of several passing cars by throwing stones and bricks at the vehicles.  Musa said no tear gas or water cannons were used at the demonstrators during the incident. 

“By about 4am, 69 people had been arrested,” he added. 

As at press time, police were keeping a close watch on the area.

Source: The Star – 26 Nov 2007 

I shouldn’t say “The Star reported” – I should say “The Star LIED“. It was the Gomen Spin Doctors – spinning unbelievable fast and loose with the truth.

LIAR! LIAR! The Star caught bloody red handed telling a BIG FAT LIE! Mr IGP says no tear gas or water cannons were used at the demonstrators during the incident. Well – the photographs sure do tell a different story. Ok-lah maybe his stormtroopers didn’t tell him – so maybe he tak tahu. That still doesn’t let The Star off the hook does it? Or is the Police writing the news reports these days? Maybe they are – because I can tell you journalists sure in hell ain’t doing it. Ever heard of verifying a statement, interviewing witnesses  – was there even a reporter at the scene?

The Lies! The Lies! The Lies! How can they print such LIES! This is not journalism – this is – oooh am so geram – I cannot even find a word despicable enough to describe this thrash. And I don’t like to swearing much. Ishh!

And then there’s the rest – “destruction of temple property” and the police rushing to the defense of the temple. Hindus destroying their temple property? I cannot even swallow that. Can you believe the nerve? That any Hindu could ever do that. I believe every single Hindu is offended by that lie!

That they could make any Malaysian believe that …. I am just speechless <temperature near boiling now>

It is the Barisan National government that is so fond of destroying temples – where were these defenders of temples then? – oh yes, I remember now where these defenders of temples were – that photograph of our Gomen officer hurling a rock at the temple while the BN bulldozers tore down the Mariaman temple in Padang Jawa is something else I will never forget. Malaysia’s Finest!

I would love to see a copy of that police report – is there even one? So many lies – why not another one?

Look at the pictures – I don’t believe the police were pelted with stones and bricks. In fact, I see quite the opposite happening. As for the Molotov-ed bus – read What A Lulu’s response to this – it had me in stiches. 🙂

The Star should just change it’s name to Gomen Bulletin. 

 

What are YOU as Malaysian going to do about this?

Well? Are you going to take this lying down? Wake up Malaysia! Is this the government that you want? A corrupt self-serving government that strips you of your rights? And not content with that offers violence to peaceful people?

When you go to the ballot box – remember Batu Caves – another reason on a very long list of reasons.

50 years ago we fought for independence from the British colonialists. Who would have thought that 50 years later we will have to fight for independence from the BN colonialists?

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Tuesday, 27 November, 2007 Posted by | Hindraf, Newspaper Lies, Police Brutality | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments