Monday, June 24, 2013

Cops hurt in scuffle with protesters

Aswad, a police officer from Sentul police headquarters, sustained injuries to his right eye and nose

A number of protesters lying on the road during a demonstration in front of Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Several police officers were injured while 32 protesters were detained during an illegal demonstration in front of Parliament House yesterday.

This happened about 11.30am when a group of people, who rallied in front of the Parliament's main entrance to protest against alleged irregularities in the 13th General Election, tried to break through the police barricade there.

City police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh said the 29 men and three women, who gathered in the name of "Parliament for the People", had also provoked the officers by throwing water bottles, eggs and splashing paint.

"An officer from the Sentul police headquarters sustained injuries to his right eye and nose, while another officer from Dang Wangi police headquarters sprained his left thumb and broke his front tooth.

"A few other officers also sustained some light injuries during the scuffle," he said.

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Among those arrested were Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia activist Badrul Hisham Shaharin and student activist Adam Adli.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had, during a press conference at Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang, said the protesters were being investigated for illegal assembly, obstructing public servants from conducting their duties and disrupting traffic, among others.

The protesters had earlier marched from Padang Merbok after a two-night sit-in there, and wanted to hand over a memorandum calling for the resignation of the Election Commission secretariat to the prime minister.

When they tried to break the security barrier, however, the police stepped in to defuse the tension and arrested several members of the group.

The Federal Reserve Unit was on standby but no tear gas was used.

Scuffles broke out after a protester, armed with bags of orange paint, attempted to break the barrier after throwing the bags at several police officers.

The group was waiting for the arrival of PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah, who, it is claimed, promised them that she would try to get permission for several representatives to enter Parliament and hand over their memorandum.

However, several of them became agitated and proceeded to breach the police barrier.

In an attempt to pacify the crowd, Shah Alam member of parliament Khalid Abdul Samad promised them that the memorandum would be handed over to the authorities.

"We will hand this memo to the relevant authorities, the prime minister and Home Ministry, to have reelection, a Royal Commission of Inquiry on suspect voting practices, and an overhaul of the EC," the Pas central committee member said. Additional reporting by Kanyakumari Damodaran

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