It looks like it is going to be another eventful day. Before going further, check out Subramaniam Pillay’s piece Hindraf rally: A plea of the dispossessed? on the reasons for the emergence of Hindraf and Makkal Sakthi.
9.02am – Receive a phone call informing me that a group of people from Penang heading to KL has been stopped at Selayang and armed police have taken away their ICs. The group apparently has been detained since 3.00am. All the stuff they brought – T-shirts, badges – have been confiscated. They were asked to give statements. Police took down their personal particulars.
10.05am – Massive jam around Dataran Merdeka. A group of Indian Malaysians are displaying a banner “No to ISA”. Tear gas has been used and traffic is being diverted.
10.12am – About 100 demonstrators including those detained at Selayang have been brought to Pulapol in Jalan Semarak, KL. Those with Makkal Sakthi T-shirts are being treated rather crudely. The detainees have been told that a magistrate will be coming to charge them, but they don’t know what the charge is.
10.30am – Lawyers are urgently needed at Pulapol to assist the detainees.
11.11am – Malaysiakini reports that 200 people have been detained after 300 people turned up for the gathering.
Afternoon – The group detained in Selayang (about 60 of them?) are released.
8.00pm – TV3 and RTM1 report that nine people have been arrested under Section 27 of the Police Act. They include PKR’s S Manikavasagam and the event’s coordinator R Raguram. Bernama/NST quotes the KL police chief as saying, “We detained 124 people at first for participating in the assembly. They were released after their particulars were taken down.”
9.00pm – Over in Butterworth on mainland Penang, Samy Vellu’s car is surrounded by a group of about 60 Indian Malaysians angry over the police crackdown on the demonstrators, including women and children, in KL today. The group also locks the door of the Chinese school to prevent him from leaving. Police arrive later to escort him away. Earlier in the day, the MIC president reportedly was jeered when giving a speech at a meeting with Rukun Tetangga and Umno branch members in Chai Leng Park.
Sunday, 17 February – Eight of the nine arrested are remanded, and one is released.