Police Break Up Peaceful Hindraf Protest At DAP HQ
DAP leaders took to task the police for high-handed action in breaking up a protest by about 20 Hindu Rights Action Force members at their party headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
The Hindraf had wanted DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also Penang Chief Minister, to forcibly acquire the land in the disputed Kampung Buah Pala area.
They asked Guan Eng to use the Land Acquisition Act to foil an eviction notice served by a private developer who bought the land from the previous state government led by Gerakan’s Koh Tsu Koon. Otherwise, Hindraf would carry out a protest outside DAP offices in six states.
“Hindraf wants the state government to act against the court order obtained by the developer to evict the residents,” Guan Eng had said in a statement following a meeting with 10 representatives from the group.
“This the state government can not do as Pakatan Rakyat governs under the rule of law and is compelled to respect any court order issued.”
Meanwhile, Hindraf coordinator K Selvam, who led the protest in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, said they wanted the Penang government to honour their election promises and save the homes of the 200 Indian settlers in Kampung Buah Pala.
“We consider Kampung Buah Pala to be heritage land,” Selvam told reporters on Tuesday.
High-handed police action
But less than 10 minutes into the protest, the police who outnumbered the group broke up the protest. A police spokesman confirmed that 50 personnel including light strike force had been deployed to ‘control’ the tiny group.
DAP Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran and Sungkai Assemblyman A Sivanesan, who arrived on the scene, tried to remonstrate with the police but to no avail.
A shouting match ensued and in the end, the DAP leaders invited the Hindraf members into their building. They were joined by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who had left orders for DAP leaders to meet and hear out the Hindraf group.
“The protesters were just airing their legitimate concerns and the DAP were ready to hear them out,” said Sivanesan.
Kit Siang, who was returning from Parliament, blamed the problem on Tsu Koon’s administration which had sold the 2.6 hectare land to a private developer, at RM10 a square foot without consulting the villagers.
According to the DAP veteran, the developer plans to build 490 condominium units and has estimated the project value at RM150 million, leaving the present state government “to deal with the mess”