Cops break up Hindraf protest, MP and others detained

Police open up with water cannons on the crowd.

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Kapar MP M. Manikavasagan and up to 18 others, who were at Brickfields district police headquarters to lodge reports on the deteriorating health condition of P. Uthayakumar, have been arrested.

Manikavasagam, who called The Malaysian Insider from the police lock-up, said the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) also fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse a crowd which was estimated to be between 400 and 600 strong.

He said a 50-year-old man who suffered breathing difficulties had to be sent to hospital in an ambulance, during the incident at about 11am.

The gathering was to compel authorities to provide better medical treatment for Uthayakumar, who is being detained in Kamunting under the Internal Security Act.

The crowd had initially gathered at a restaurant in Brickfields at about 10.30am before walking 500 metres to the district police headquarters.

Police officers taking away one protestor for coming to the police station.

According to Manikavasagam, the police had initially agreed to let up to 50 people enter the police station to lodge their reports, but the FRU, stationed outside, started moving against the crowd with tear gas and water cannons soon after.

Yesterday Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Wira Mohammad Sabtu Osman said police would regard the planned gathering as an illegal assembly and had advised Uthayakumar’s supporters to stay away from the gathering.

Mohammad Sabtu had warned that police would take action as the gathering could jeopardise public order, saying that the move to lodge mass reports was to ridicule the police.

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