Release of Malaysia’s Hindraf leaders ‘just rumours’

March 24th, 2008 - 4:28 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 24 (IANS) People should disregard rumours circulated via SMS that the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders detained under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA) would be released, wife of one of the detainees said. S. Pushpaneela, wife of Hindraf legal adviser M. Manoharan, one of the five detainees, said the SMS was “just a rumour”, The Star newspaper said Monday.

“I will only believe it if it comes through the proper channel such as the media.

“This is probably the work of some irresponsible people,” she said while commenting on an SMS being circulated that all five detained Hindraf members would be released Monday.

Hindraf, which claims to speak for the two million Tamil settlers in Malaysia, has courted controversy since last November when it held a rally that was forcibly dispersed.

Five of its top leaders, who organised the rally, have been accused of trying to destabilise the state and detained for two years under the ISA.

Following the rally and through the campaign for the March 8 elections, the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been highly critical of Hindraf.

However, some Hindraf activists did contest the election. Manoharan is the newly elected state assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah, after he defeated Barisan Nasional incumbent Ching Su Chen by 7,184 votes.

Hindraf lawyer A. Sivanesan, who is also Sungkai assemblyman, said the rumour was “pure nonsense”, adding: “I’m unaware of any such arrangement.”

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