Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Well, I didn't really expect they would be kind to us, did I?

--From Malaysiakini:
Judge Azimah Omar says she is denying bail for national security reasons and based on the severity of the charges. More

How 26 Hindus who tried to kill a cop but couldn't is beyond me. Absurd you say! But I know exactly what they are trying to do. Root word: Hindus Behave!

But why do I feel guilty about it? Anyway, I am heartened by this comment at Kit's blog:

"Don’t know the facts of what happened on Sunday 25th Nov in Batu Caves except hearsay acount.

However an unusually large crowd might have have assembled at Batu Caves Murugan Temple the night before. “Unusually large ” means (say) twice more than the usual numbers experienced in such religious celebrations.

It leads to inference that:-

(a) Some were there solely to celebrate religious festivities unassociated with Hindraf’s call to assemble;
(b) Some probably for both reasons to celebrate religious festivities as well as participate in Hindraf’s assembly;
(c) Maybe some mainly as a gathering point to participate in the assembly.

The fact is you’d never know who was who mingled together and what were motives. However those under (a) were completely innocent of illegal assembly. I would say if one could read others minds whether they belonged to (a)(b) or (c ), then for so long as they were within temple precincts, it must be presumed all were innocent of intention to participate in Hindraf’s assembly.

Situation changed once they assembled outside the temple and didn’t go their own way.

According to account of RPK (MalaysiaToday) (I don’t know true or not)“at 4.00am, when the Indians tried to start their march, they were pushed back into the temple grounds and the gates locked”. When you people came out and assembled (rather than go different ways) in large numbers outside the temple at 4 am in the morning, I would say that it is reasonable inference of participation in Hindraf’s rally – which at that point of time and place would be an illegal asembly (in sense no permit) and defence under (a) becomes implausible….

The police under these circumstances had the right to disperse such an assembly by use of reasonable force if their calls to disperse were not heeded. (What is reasonable force, and whether using chemical laced water canons and canisters of tear gas is such or not such is a matter of opinion which I don’t think it is necessary to express in context of the real issues in contention).

Had the stones or rocks been thrown by persons in such an assembly at FRUs and police injuring them, these persons singly or in concert throwing such objects, will - I suppose – be guilty of committing offence of grievous hurt or even aggravated battery/assault on law enforecement personel.

It is no defence to say that it was a response to the police were shooting water canons and tear gas when the latter acts were within “reasonable force” to stop and disperse an illegal assembly.

To say that it was an attempt to murder, that I think is a trifle far fetched. Such a charge was formulated and the AG is personally prosecuting the case to deliver the signal that the government would tolerate no such behaviour (in the demonstrations to come) and intend to use the 26 as deterrent to prove the point.

Now the situation and conclusions would radically change in another scenario : ie when massive show of police force had pushed all illegal assemblers back into the temple precincts and grounds and the gates were locked and people trapped inside.

What should the FRUs/police do? I would say nothing. They had done their job. They had stopped an illegal assembly.

Even if they had failed to disperse the crowd, they were contained with the assembly confined within the temple grounds.

In such a case (here again if RPK’s account were to be believed) if the police (as alleged) shot into the temple grounds “with volley after volley of tear gas until they ran out of stock, with new supplies were brought in”, this would, I imagine, constitute unlawful police brutality.

It was hardly a necesary act to contain a problem - tyhe illegal asembly was already prevented from proceeding - it was an act to punish people trapped within a confined area because they had intended to participate in Hindraf’s rally.

That the area is a temple ground, made these acts (to devotees) sacrilegious, and to other faithfuls, tantamount descrecrating a place of worship.

Had the fracas (rock and stone throwing) occurred within the temple precincts – or even if the rock throwers were within and law enforcement personel were outside (separated by gate), such offence of rock throwing might arguably be excused or mitigated substantially as a kind of self defence against unlawful assault and punishment of a group of people trapped within temple grounds.

Never mind this group had originally intended to participate in an illegal asembly but they were no more now, the assembly had been stopped, they were confined in an area together with other innocent bystanders within the precincts whose presence within might entirely be for worship, having nothing to do with the assembly. Yes I think those locked in within the temple grounds, injured by police action, could try redress by civil suit under these circumstances.

This would not extend to those ‘heroes’ who climbed the gates, scaled the walls to go outside to purposely battle the police with rocks and stones in retaliation for the police actions."

Most of the lawyers are followers of the Sanathana Dharma. Lets see truth prevail!