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AFTERMATH: PKR man held; police reports lodged against rally leaders
KUALA LUMPUR: THE post-Bersih rally fallout saw yesterday a group of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman-Masjid India traders lodging a police report and RapidKL seeking compensation for losses incurred last Saturday.
Police have picked up the Rasah Parti Keadilan Rakyat division’s deputy chief, who will be remanded until tomorrow at the Jinjang police station.
He was detained at his home in Seremban on Monday at 11pm by a police team from here.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh in a press statement said the man was being investigated for allegedly committing mischief while taking part in an unlawful assembly or a riot.
It is understood that this is the first arrest made by the police after the violent rally.
The rally, which started peacefully, turned violent when unruly supporters decided to defy a court order by removing the barbed wires and barricades surrounding Dataran Merdeka.
Several police reports were also lodged against Bersih 3.0 organisers while MCA Youth secretary-general Datuk Chai Kim Sen has urged de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and its deputy president Azmin Ali to assume responsibility for what he described as a “riot”.
“Their lame excuse that their hand gestures to each other only meant that they were negotiating with the police and not an order to breach the cordon is not acceptable,” Chai said in a statement, referring to footage showing Anwar signalling to Azmin.
The footage showed that some protesters then charged at the barricades at Dataran Merdeka.
Chai said it would not be surprising if their excuses were an afterthought.
“After seeing the aftermath and violence towards the police, they probably decided to avert responsibility by claiming that they had not signalled anyone to break through the barriers.”
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said on Monday the crowd was instigated by several individuals to force their way past the barricades.
He said, at that point, they had no alternative but to disperse the crowd using water cannon and tear gas.
Prasarana media affairs manager Azhar Ghazali said it would seek compensation from organisers of Bersih 3.0 and Stop Lynas.
He said significant damages were inflicted to the Masjid Jamek Light Rail Transit station after protesters stormed the area during the rally.
“The roller shutters, barricades, toilets, and ticketing gates at the station were vandalised.
“The management had to repair the damages quickly as we needed to operate the next day,” he told the New Straits Times.
Azhar said because of the rush, the station management was compelled to open its turnstile gates for the public to go through.
“Everyone then entered without tickets.”
Azhar said RapidKL would also be seeking compensation for its bus operations, which were affected by road closures in the city.
“From the 166 bus routes we operate, 40 per cent (about 66 routes) had to be shut down for the day,” he said, adding that a final report was still being prepared by RapidKL to assess the full extent of the damage.
Two non-governmental organisations lodged police reports against Bersih 3.0 organisers at the Dang Wangi police headquarters yesterday.
President of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Association of Malaysia (Ikhlas), Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah said the rally had robbed 317 petty traders in the area of an income, with an estimated loss of RM850,000.
“Since we had to shut down our stores from Friday to Sunday, we demand Bersih compensate our losses,” he said outside the Dang Wangi police headquarters.
He added that on weekends, traders could earn up to RM10,000 but because of the rally, their businesses were affected badly.
Traders in Masjid India and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman had lost up to RM817,205 in last year’s Bersih 2.0 rally.
Malay Military Veterans Association also lodged a police report against Bersih 3.0 organisers for compromising the country’s safety President Mohd Ali Baharom said the “peaceful” rally had turned violent.
The Federation of Peninsular Malay Students , Malaysian Indian Youth Council and 1Malaysia Youth Graduates Club (KBG1M) yesterday congratulated the police for carrying out their duties professionally.
“It’s a heavy responsibility for the cops to shoulder. Their sacrifices should be acknowledged by the public,” said KBG1M president Tan Kian Soon.
In Putrajaya, a group of 15 non-governmental-organisations lodged a report at the Putrajaya police headquarters yesterday, seeking an investigation into Datuk S. Ambiga for organising the Bersih 3.0 rally.
The group claimed Ambiga, who is Bersih co-chairman, had lied when she reassured the public the rally would be peaceful.
Additional reporting by Alang Bendahara and Beboshini Unni