Malaysiakini – Anti-Lynas fracas: Cops release pix of 29 witnesses

Susan Loone
1:17PM Mar 2, 2012

Penang police today released 29 photographs of witnesses involved in the fracas at last Sunday’s anti-Lynas rally in Penang.

The pictures include Penang Perkasa youth chief Risuan Mohd Asudin and several people wearing Umno caps.

NONENortheast police chief Gan Kong Meng said today that the photos were collated from the newspapers and the  Internet.

Gan said the police want the witnesses to assist in investigations.

However, the photographs show more than 29 witnesses.

”We call on them to come forward, without prejudice. They are at present witnesses, not suspects or accused of anything”, said the district police chief added.

Police are seriously looking into reports that have been made alleging violence at the rally that resulted in injury to two journalists.

adam chew kwong wah jit poh journalist with blood on fingersLast Sunday, Kwong Wah Jit Poh journalists Adam Chew (above) and Lee Hong Chun were allegedly attacked and hit with helmets by pro-Lynas supporters who confronted the Himpunan Hijau gathering at the Esplanade.

Gan said police would leave no stone unturned and would “nail the culprits” should there be enough evidence.

Investigation papers into the fracas will be ready for the attorney-general latest by Monday, March 5, he said, adding at the press conference that a taskforce was looking into details of the fracas.

Headed by state CID deputy chief ACP Naser Salleh, its main task is to prepare the investigation papers to be sent to the AG.

The case is being investigated under Sections 143 and 147 of the Penal Code, which also involves “illegal assembly” on the part of the organisers.

The report lodged by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, he said, was being investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code, which refers to criminal intimidation.

NONESo far, seven reports on the violence during the rally, including Lim’s, have been lodged with the police, and 20 statements from witnesses have been recorded.

On Lim’s case alone, Gan said, 13 statements have been taken from witnesses.

“Come to us and help us speed up the case. This is a very crucial case, you can even come on Sunday. We want to complete the investigation soon,” he added.

Gan warned those who are “unsatisfied” with the case to refrain from unnecessary actions.

Asked what action would be taken against “negligent” police officers who did not prevent the fracas, Gan said, “What about the people who started the fight, who incited… we should point at them”.

NONE“We know they are attached to certain political parties, but  if they as individuals are involved in the fight, action must be taken.”

On a related matter, 11 individuals jointly lodged a report on the chaos at the Northeast District Police Headquarters in Jalan Pattani today, providing eyewitnesses accounts, and urging the police to nab the culprits immediately.

Ng Eng Kiat, who is Penang executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow’s special assistant, provided photo evidence of being slapped and pushed by a pro-Lynas supporter before Lim arrived to give his speech.

“This photo can help the police nab the suspect,” he added, urging more witnesses to come forward to reveal what they experienced on Sunday.

‘Worrying trend’

Social activist Toh Kin Woon, who was present at the police station this morning, said the violent incident was not an isolated case as there had been many such situation targeted at Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

He added that it was a “worrying trend” for rioters to disturb and try to prevent a peaceful gathering.

“This is against the spirit of democracy and the federal constitution which guarantees such freedoms. It is better to debate than to turn to violence,” he said.

“It is not a question of whether the organisers have informed the police of the event, but that the police must be professional to prevent violence that is happening in front of them,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *