New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) Cutting across party lines, Rajya Sabha members today demanded urgent government intervention to protect ethnic Indians in Malaysia, describing the situation in that country as ''very, very serious''.
Mr T Shiva, raising the matter during Zero Hour, said ethnic Indians, numbering about 1.5 million, mostly of Tamil origin, were being discriminated against in Malaysia and the government should take immediate action.
Mr Narayansamy (Cong), while describing it as a serious matter, said 240 Indians were being held in jail without any inquiry. He said the matter should be taken up through diplomatic channels.
Mr D Raja (CPI) said the human rights of ethnic Indians, mostly Tamils, were being violated and the government should take up the matter at the appropriate level. The government should address the issue with urgency and the External Affairs Ministry should take it up with the Malaysian government.
He described the plight of ethnic Indians in Malaysia as ''miserable and tragic''.
Dr K Malaisamy (AIADMK) said that in a fresh spate of hate violence against ethnic Indians, nearly 64 temples had either been damaged or destroyed.
He described the situation as very, very serious and charged the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur with not doing enough to protect the ethnic Indians.
The members demanded a statement from the government.
Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan said he would apprise the government of the sentiment of the House .
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri said the matter was serious and he would urge External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to take appropriate steps.