Sunday, August 30, 2009

WEEKEND VIEW #6: Police Aim To Wrap Up Probe By Tuesday - malaysiakini

The police are hoping to complete their investigations into the 'cow head' protest by Tuesday, said Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar today.

He said several individuals, including the organisers, have been called in for questioning and their statements have been recorded.

He added that a special team has been set up to look into the matter.

"The case is being investigated under the Sedition Act, and we hope to complete our investigations by Tuesday," he said when contacted.

However, he added that no arrest have been made so far.

As for the criticisms that the police were slow in probing this case, Khalid said the police were following due procedure.

"We have to consult the DPP and compile evidence first. We cannot simply arrest people and charge them under the Sedition Act," he added.

The police were also taken to task for not acting against the protesters during the demonstration.

Responding to this, Khalid said his men were right in asking the protesters to remove the cow's head to prevent any further problems.

The protesters, who were venting their anger against the state government, had initially placed the head at the front gate of the state secretariat building.

Police have apologised

Yesterday, Shah Alam district police chief Noor Azam Jamaluddin had apologised to Selangor Pakatan Rakyat leaders on behalf of his men for not acting promptly on that day.

According to executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, Noor Azam said a 'junior' officer was on duty.

Following Friday prayers, some 50 residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam staged the protest against the proposal to relocate a Hindu temple to their area.

However, the protest earned notoriety when a blood-soaked cow's head was paraded, with some of the protesters stomping and spitting on it.

The cow is considered sacred to Hindus.

The protest, which has since appeared in newspapers around the world, drew flak from numerous quarters, inlcuding politicians from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan.

Even Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was said to be upset and had ordered the Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan to look into the matter.

The organiser of the protest and residents' action committee chairperson Mahyuddin Manaf distanced himself from the cow's head, saying it had mysteriously appeared on the scene.

He also denied that the head was brought with the intention to belittle the Hindu religion.

MIC Youth to hold special prayers

Meanwhile, MIC Youth will be organising a special prayer session called 'Komatha pooja' tomorrow.

The prayers are held in veneration of cows.

When contacted, MIC Youth chief T Mohan said the prayers will take place at temples nationwide in view of Friday's incident.

"We are not staging a protest. The prayers are being held to avoid any mishap from befalling this nation and in the spirit of Mederka," he added.

Furthermore, Mohan stressed that the 'cow head' protest was an isolated incident carried out by a small group of people.

MIC leaders, including its president S Samy Vellu, had come out strongly to condemn the protest while calling on Hindus to remain calm.

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