Jailed Hindu leader not to be freed

March 29th, 2008 - 6:47 pm ICT by admin  


Kuala Lumpur, March 29 (IANS) Jailed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader M. Manoharan will not be released though he has been elected to the Malaysian parliament, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has said. This is because Manoharan, one of the many who took to the streets alleging discrimination against the largely Hindu Tamil minority, was detained under the Internal Security Act.

“We have to give priority to public safety and peace and will give due consideration (to his release) only if there is no threat to national security,” The Star newspaper Saturday quoted Albar as saying.

Manoharan will not be able to attend assembly sessions while under detention. He can, however, take oath at the detention camp because this has been done in the past, Albar said.

Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, K. Vasantha Kumar and R. Kengadharan have been detained for two years on charges of sedition. All are Hindraf members.

An unregistered body, Hindraf, claiming to speak for two million Tamil Hindu settlers, organised a rally here Nov 25, 2007 to highlight the problems faced by ethnic Indians.

Police dispersed the rally using water cannons and arrested the group’s leaders.

Albar said an advisory board comprising judicial and legal officers would review their detention.

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