Malaysian court rejects Hindraf leader’s freedom bid

September 17th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 17 (IANS) A Malaysian court Wednesday rejected a fresh bid for freedom by an ethnic Indian leader who cited medical neglect and danger to his life while in detention under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA). High Court judge Justice Suraya Othman dismissed a habeas corpus application by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P. Uthayakumar, who is serving a two year jail term along with four others leaders of the organisation, Star Online said.

The five — Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, K. Vasantha Kumar and R. Kenghadaran — were charged with public disorder and trying to disturb the country’s ethnic balance after they staged a protest rally last November to highlight the perceived discrimination of ethnic Indians, mainly in jobs and education.

The Malaysian authorities have also charged the Hindraf, an unregistered body, of having “terror links”, especially with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka.

A royal decree earlier this year confirmed the detention of the five.

Ethnic Indians, mainly Tamil Hindus who came here during the British era, form nearly eight percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.

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