Monday, December 15, 2008



*Rawang 15th December,2008*

A day that saw an incident free day of cycling took a turn at Rawang . We
arrived in Rawang at about 4.30pm. We were supposed to meet up with YB ADUN
Rawang, Gan Pei Nei at Rawang Jaya . She and her delegation planned to cycle
with the JERIT convoy from there to Rawang town.

But a roadblock greeted us at Rawang . As usual the police requested for
names and IC of all the cyclist and coordinator. We intervened and told the
police that it is not necessary to record names and addresses of all
cyclist as we have a list that we can give it to them. After much argument
we took back all the IC of the cyclist and gave the coordinators IC to
record . Myself ,Sugu, Saras,Rani ,Mohan gave our IC to be recorded . The
IC were returned after recording. But my IC changed hands to another
officer .

Soon the police received new directions. The bus was to held and myself
and the coordinators were asked to come to the balai . Eventhough we
managed to get the cyclist to continue to cycle , but they were stopped
again further ahead . As the cyclist met up YB Gan Pei Nei group , they
were stopped from cycling to town . After some negotiations by Gan Pei Nei
, the convoy proceeded into town . They cycled around Rawang town and
stopped at a coffee shop for a drink .

Myself ,Sugu and Saras made our way to the balai polis . At the balai ,
Saras immediately checked on the 7 junior cyclist in the bus that was brought
in to the balai . The police were already intimidating the children, asking
them questions. Some officers also asked the cyclist if Dr.Kumar had paid
them money to participate in the campaign.They harassed the cyclist who
were in the bus . Saras and Sugu intervened and chased out the officers from
the bus .

I met up with Gan Pei Nei who then arrived at the balai . We went over to
see the OCPD , Abdul Rahim . He was asking the same stupid questions
,whether did we get a permit to cycle. He said ,it does not matter if other
OCPD have allowed the cyclist , but we supposedly should have seeked his
permission in his district .OCPD instructed all the bicyclist to be
brought to the balai . We objected and said that we have given all the
names and there was no need to have any statements taken .

Later the OCPD instructed statements to be taken from all the 7 cyclist
that were already in the bus. He said that he wanted to verify if there
were under aged children being abused . I followed them. Informed the
officers that they cannot take statement, and we will not give statement .
The cyclist will only give their details only .

Soon all the cyclist were already brought in the balai . Dr.Kumar arrived
shortly . I and Dr.Kumar met up with the OCPD . He still insisted that he
wanted to take statements from all the cyclist. We showed him that we have
consent letters from all the parents . We gave the police a copy . After
much negotiations ,we agreed poiice to record details of all the cyclist
accompanied by us . As this was going on , I was taken by the OCPD to his
room . He explained that he still considered that the event was a
procession . He confirmed that I will be charged under Section 27 of the
police Act' illegal assembly'. Kumar also had his statements taken later

At this moment , we were quite sure that all will be released after
giving the details to the police . This was when matters took a turn ,
when the Selangor CPO arrived , Dato Khalid .

Immediately the CPO ,OCPD and other officers went for taklimat. About an
hour later the CPO arrogantly came down and announced that all 50 cyclist
and all the 15 coordinators will be arrested . We were gathered at the
parking lot. They put a yellow tape around us .All those below 18 years old
were separated from the seniors .

By this time a crowd of supporters were already swelling outside the balai
. A candle light vigil began . Makkal Sakti slogans and songs were sung .
There were also PKR , DAP and PAS members .

The police made arrangements for the welfare officers to take the junior
cyclist away .They would be then handed 'safely' to their parents.

The police went all out to harass us . Edmund Bon , lawyer informed us that
the police were going to expel the permit and the driving licences of
all the lorry drivers and bas driver. JPJ officials also arrived.
They examined
the bus , lorry , looking for something to issue summon on .The driving
licences and road tax of the lorry and bus were taken away .

As protest outside gathered momentum , a complete battalion of FRU ,Water
cannon arrived . The crowd outside carried on chanting and demanding for our
release. As they were about to use the water cannon, the rain poured
heavily. The police did not use the water cannon .

As rain kept pouring heavily , the car park where all of us who were
being detained began flooding . All of us were standing cold in a river of
water . We demanded to be shifted out of the parking lot . As usual the
police buat tak tahu . Tempers flared . I moved to rip of the yellow
police tape and walk out of the parking lot . The rest followed. A fight
pursued between us and the police as they were trying to push us back
into the parking lot and we were moving out . The officers couldn't stop
us . The Light Strike Force rushed in . They pushed us back with their
shield and batons .

The CPO looked and couldn't do anything . Immediately the police brought
all the cyclist below 18 years of age into a dry place at the balai
meeting room upstairs .

As this was happening , we were also amazed at the 300 0ver crowd outside
that stood in the heavy rain and did not budge . FRU cordoned the
police station
entrance . The welfare officers couldn't find a place to take the
junior cyclist
, thus they stayed at the meeting room . The junior cyclist told
the police
they refuse being brought away by the welfare officers and they rather
remain arrested with the others

At about 2 am , I and Kumar were given the bail sheets . Soon the rest
were being taken details and issued bail sheets . Some comrades spent the
nite with the junior cyclist at the balai meeting room .

At about 3.30 am all walked out of the balai polis Rawang . It was a
eventful nite .

Sivarajan .

Community Development Centre (CDC)
No.72B, Taman Sri Langat
Jalan Reko, Kajang, Selangor
Tel/Fax: 03-87370766

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