Kuala Lumpur, Dec 31: Hindus residing in Malaysia gathered in large numbers at various temples in the country to offer their prayers for the early release of detained activists of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).
After the November 25 violent protests by Hindus seeking equal rights, the Malaysian government had detained a large number of Hindraf activists in a nationwide crackdown. Five persons have been detained under the tough Internal Security Act (ISA), and over two dozen others have been charged for participating in an illegal assembly. The special prayers were organised by a coalition of 30 non-governmental organisations and the Indian community present here. These prayers also turned out to be an occasion for the aggrieved Indian community to express their discontentment over the ill treatment that they have to face in public life.
The minority Indian community here are demanding equal employment opportunities.
At one such prayer in Klang, Coalition spokesman L. Segaran said that they would be urging the Malaysian Prime Minister to release the five persons detained under ISA.
Last week, five leaders of Hindraf- M. Manoharan, 46, V. Ganabatirau, 34 and P. Uthayakumar, 46, along with Hindraf co-ordinator K. Vasantha Kumar, 34 and R. Kengadharan, 40 -submitted a formal application for their right to be present at a habeas corpus petition court hearing, scheduled for next month.
The five Hindraf leaders claim that their detention was illegal as they were detained without thorough investigation, required under section 73 of the Act.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who will be leading a 70-member delegation to the Pravasi Barathiya Divas conference in New Delhi beginning on January 7, has said that he would meet Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and other leaders to apprise them about the real situation concerning the Indian community in Malaysia, The Star reported.