ALOR SETAR, 25 March 2009: Police were not influenced by any political party in dispersing the illegal assembly at the Taman Ria Jaya field in Sungai Petani on Monday night, Kedah deputy police chief Datuk Asri Yusoff said today.
He said the action was taken in accordance with the law and the police’s standard operating procedure.
He said the authorities had issued a notice prohibiting the assembly to be held at a public place but organiser went ahead anyway.
“It was a public place. It was held on a field and road, obstructing traffic and disturbing the people in the area,” he told reporters after the Police Day celebration here.
Police detained 31 people, believed to be Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) supporters, and had to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse the 5,000-strong crowd which assembled in the area at about 8pm on Monday.
PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s scheduled ceramah had to be cancelled because of the police action.
Sungai Petani is in the Bukit Selambau consituency which will be holding a by-election on 7 April. — Bernama