Samy Says- Release Them
Release Hindraf 5 Says Dato’Seri S.Samy Vellu
Release the HINDRAF 5, says Samy Vellu MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu today asked the government to release the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders under detention, saying two of them should be freed sooner because one was ill and the other was now an elected representative. He said R. Kenghadaran, 40, “is very sick” and M. Manoharan, 46, had won a seat in the March 8 general election. Manoharan had won the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor on a DAP ticket. Samy Vellu also said that V. Ganabatirau, 34, and K. Vasantha Kumar, 34, had not been very much involved in the massive rally organised by the unregistered Hindraf in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 last year, which was a reason for the five to be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA). The fifth Hindraf leader under detention is P. Uthayakumar.
The MIC president spoke at a news conference after opening a workshop on “Rebranding the MIC” attended by the party’s 150 divisional leaders, here. He said Ganabatirau, and Vasantha Kumar were “not very much involved (in the rally), so the government has to make a decision.” The MIC supremo also said that his asking the government to release the five Hindraf leaders was not for publicity or a move to win back Indian support for the party, touted to be the largest Indian-based political party in the country.
“This is done in fairness, sympathy and, also, we feel that we as Indians have to do something about it. It is not a publicity stint,” he said. He said that though the party had received harsh criticism from certain quarters for failing to safeguard the welfare of Indians in the country, it would continue to do what it can on matters concerning the community. “If they (those detained) go ahead with the advice of their lawyers, many things could happen. They should not simply be attracted to those people who want to argue for them. Many people like to argue for them so that they can get publicity. We don’t want the publicity, we want the truth,” the MIC chief said.
The Hindraf leaders were detained in December last year. Hindraf had also made several claims, which had been described as preposterous by most people and which were subsequently denied by the authorities. Hindraf also submitted a memorandum containing various baseless accusations to the British High Commission here. The five Hindraf leaders were detained under the ISA after the authorities found that they had touched on sensitive religious and racial issues and had made seditious statements against the government. Manoharan has become the third ISA detainee to contest and win a seat in a general election. Chan Kok Kit and Chian Heng Khai contested the Sungai Besi (Selangor) and Batu Gajah (Perak) parliamentary seats, respectively, on a DAP ticket in 1978 and won.
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