06 September, 2009

Cow head protest VS candlelight vigil protest

“Threat and insulting the religion of others is condoned by the government, where is justice?” and “Umno must repent”.

Police arrested 16 people including Human Rights Party leader P. Uthayakumar as they were attempting to march from Masjed Jamek to Dataran Merdeka for a candlelight vigil protesting last week’s cow-head demonstration by Section 23 residents in Shah Alam.

Authorities had closed off access to the square to prevent the group of about 50 demonstrators from carrying out the vigil.

Uthayakumar, who recently returned from medical treatment abroad, was seen manhandled by the police despite not resisting while his fiancée was roughly pushed and dragged into the police truck.

All 16 were later taken to the Dang Wangi police station to have their statement taken.

In a statement from his London base, Waytha Moorthy said he was appalled by the arrests, saying it was a deliberate and calculated attempt to target the main leaders of Hindraf so that the planned candle vigil would be foiled.

Those vigil participants were going with candles and roses when they were arrested. PM Najib’s 1 Malaysia is a shame to all democracy-loving Malaysians.

“It is ridiculous that the Muslim extremist cow head protesters – with blood still dripping from the head – who behaved in violent manner, delivered fiery speeches promoting racial hatred and insulted Hindus were given full police protection whilst Hindraf supporters who were armed with unlit candles and roses were violently arrested, bundled and taken into police lock ups,” said Waytha Moorthy who lives in self-exile.

In last week’s protest in Shah Alam, around 50 residents from Section 23 marched towards the Selangor state secretariat building after Friday prayers to protest the planned relocation of a Hindu temple to their housing area.

The protesters brandished a severed cow’s head during the protest, which was observed by the police. No arrests were made then or since.

"The police allowed the demonstrators to proceed because the numbers of protesters were small."

“They said that they were very conscious and all that they wanted to do was to voice their unhappiness about the willingness of the state government to listen to their requests. I was told that even the Hindus there are not so passionate that it is built there (section 23),” said Hishammuddin.

But, as far as Selangor opposition leader Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is concerned, the controversy surrounding the cow-head protest in Shah Alam last week is just a big misunderstanding over a 'stupid' animal.

According to the former menteri besar, the protesters had no intentions of belittling the Hindu religion which considers the cow to be sacred.

"The reason (the cow's head) was brought was to show that the (state government) had acted without thinking as the site (for the Hindu temple) was ready (in Section 18), so why relocate (to Section 23)?

"The state government did not think... the cow's head was displayed because it is a 'stupid' animal, to show that the state government made a 'stupid' decision, and disrupted the peace of Section 23 residents. (It has) nothing to do with religious issues," he stressed.

"I don't know who brought it (the cow's head)... but for me, there is no sensitivity (involved) or link to the animal being holy for the Indians (Hindus)," he added.

Perhaps, The police should come up with a standard procedure or guideline to deal with demonstrations and protests to show that it is consistent and fair in all its actions, instead, they are more capable of catching demonstrators than criminals.

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