PUTRAJAYA, 24 Oct 2008: Police obtained an order from the Kajang Magistrate’s Court here today to remand 10 supporters of the banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) until Sunday.
They have been remanded to facilitate investigation into an “illegal gathering” in front of the prime minister’s office yesterday.
Magistrate Nurdiana Mohd Nazari issued the remand order under section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code after a three-hour hearing in chambers.
The entrance to the court building was heavily guarded by Federal Reserve Unit personnel.
Eight of the detained were in court and another two, a man and a woman, at the Putrajaya Hospital. The man was brought to the hospital last night for kidney complications while the woman, who was said to be a diabetic patient, was taken there at about 11.50am today.
A minor commotion broke out when the women fainted in the midst of the remand proceedings.
All will be held in the lock-up in the Putrajaya district police station.
They were arrested yesterday under Section 48 of the Societies Act for allegedly assisting or working for an illegal organisation. If found guilty, they are liable to be fined a maximum of RM15,000 or jailed five years, or both.
Yesterday, the group comprising eight men, three women and a six-year-old child, was arrested outside the prime minister’s office while attempting to hand a memorandum to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
They claimed they went there “as individuals and not as the group Hindraf” to extend a Deepavali invitation to Abdullah and to seek the release of all Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees, including five Hindraf leaders and blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.
However, six-year-old W Vwaishnavi and her mother, K Shanti, wife of Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy, who is in self-exile in London, were released last night.
The group was the first to be arrested since Hindraf was declared illegal by the authorities on Oct 15. Its leaders have been detained under the ISA since 13 Dec 2007.
Meanwhile, their lead counsel, Amer Hamzah Arshad, told reporters outside the court that police could proceed with investigations without remanding them. — Bernama