Lecturer of Malaysian Univ dismisses accusation by Hindraf

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Singapore, Dec 5 (UNI) A senior lecturer at the Universiti Malaya's Indian Studies Department has dismissed as untrue the accusation by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar that the government practised ethnic cleansing of Indians, according to a report by the Malaysian national news agency, Bernama, today.

Mr G Sivapalan said it was also not true that a Hindu temple was demolished every three weeks in the country, adding that if that was so, there would be no temples in five years.

Referring to the demolition of the Mariamman Temple in Shah Alam city last month, he said the matter should be raised with the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, and the Malaysian Hindu Sangam.

Mr Sivapalan also lauded the efforts of the Malaysia Indian Congress party's Education Bureau headed by Prof Dr T Marimuthu but said more could be done to help deserving Indians.

For one, he said, the Maju Institute of Educational Development could reduce the service charge imposed on borrowers.

Meanwhile, five more protesters were charged with attempted murder at the Shah Alam Sessions Court today, joining the 26 charged yesterday.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail alleged the 26 protestors on 24 November, ahead of the November 25 rally, threw pipes and bricks, hurting the policeman, Dedi Abdul Rani, who received stitches on his head. Some 3,000 people had gathered at the Batu Caves Hindu temple, outside Kuala Lumpur.

Police had to use tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd. It also arrested 69 people but released 43 with a warning.

Thousands of ethnic Indians held a rally on November 25 in Kuala Lumpur city centre, alleging that they were being marginalised.

It is one of toughest actions being taken by the Malaysian government against the protestors, who are also calling on the British government to support their call at the United Nations for being marginalised and left out of the economic development in Malaysia.

All the accused, between the ages of 18 and 45, were produced in the Shah Alam Sessions Court yesterday.

They were also charged with causing disturbances by damaging seven vehicles. Hindraf had organised the rally.

If convicted of attempted murder charge, the accused carries a maximum of 20 years jail with fine and the charge on causing mischief carries a jail term of five years and a fine.

UNI

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