New Delhi, Dec 5: Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon has said India is “concerned" about the resentment prevailing among Malaysia's minority ethnic Indian community, and confirmed that the issue was raised with the Malaysian High Commission.
Menon said India was assured that the matter would be resolved.
"You've seen the levels of concern in India about the reaction in the Indian origin community. These are Malaysian citizens and reactions amongst them to their treatment were raised in Parliament. We have drawn the attention of the Malaysian authorities to the widespread concern in India," Menon said.
“We have made it clear to them that this is something that naturally is a social concern. We've been assured by them when we raised it with their commission here, that they would do everything that they can to deal with this issue which they regard as an internal issue of Malaysia," he added.
Last week, Malaysia's de-facto Justice Minister Nazri Aziz asked India to "lay off" the matter following Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene. Singh later made a statement when the issue figured in Parliament.
At least 80 ethnic Indians were charged for taking part in a rally that was attended by about 10,000 people of Indian origin in Kuala Lumpur on November 25 to demand equal rights.
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Around 250 people were arrested and three protest organisers were charged with sedition.
This was the second time that the authorities have cracked down on a demonstration critical of the government. A few thousand people defied official warnings to stay away from the planned rally in the capital called by a Hindu rights group.
About 4,000 ethnic Indian men, some carrying Malaysian flags and others holding placards, had gathered near a normally busy intersection in the centre of Kuala Lumpur as dozens of police trucks and hundreds of riot police stood guard.
Some ethnic Indians, who make up about seven percent of the population, complain that they are marginalised in terms of employment and business opportunities by a government dominated by politicians from the majority race, ethnic Malays.
The ethnic Indian group's core complaint, that the current government has done little to better the community's standard of living, has riled the administration, which only three weeks ago cracked down on a protest by about 10,000 people demanding electoral reform.