Police prevent Kg Gatco settlers from meeting MB

About 40 settlers from Kampung Serampang Indah, better known as Kampung Gatco, in Jempol were stopped and escorted home by the police while on a bus heading to meet Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Aminuddin Harun this morning.

When contacted, PSM deputy chairperson S Arutchelvan criticised the police for abusing their power and arbitrarily detaining the settlers for approximately 90 minutes without good reason.

Malaysiakini has reached out to the Seremban District Police Headquarters for comment.

“We considered this a technical arrest because one police car escorted the bus in front while the other one from the back to ensure that the (bus) driver drove the settlers home. The settlers were technically not allowed to leave the bus and were forcefully taken home.ADS

“A police officer (was stationed) on the bus and the settlers were prohibited from taking photographs, and their placards were confiscated. There was a lot of harassment by the police.

“This is an abuse of police power. They have no right to do that because the people were going to meet their menteri besar,” Arutchelvan said.

The incident took place as the bus arrived at Paroi, Seremban, around 10.30am.

The group initially planned to arrive at the Negeri Sembilan State Assembly at 11am and submit a memorandum on the settlers’ land issue to the menteri besar.

Lost faith in state executive councillors

Arutchelvan said he later found out that Seremban police chief Mohd Said Ibrahim gave instructions to stop the settlers and return them back to Kampung Gatco under the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“But there was no public assembly when the police stopped the bus.

“He (the police chief) also insisted there was no arrest, and they were taken home for their own safety. But I said it was like an arrest,” he added.

A protest was held by 30 PSM members and settlers who drove separately to the state assembly.

“Aminuddin promised us an appointment where five of the representatives will meet him. We told him that we declined to meet other state executive councillors because we had lost faith in them.

“All the 100 settlers were supposed to get 3.24ha of land, but that had been reduced to 1.6ha,” Arutchelvan said.

Following some negotiation, the group agreed to disperse after the settlers in the bus arrived back at Kampung Gatco.

“We called off the rally because others in the bus were released by the police (according to) our condition,” he added.

The whole incident at the state assembly took about one hour, and the crowd dispersed around noon. 

Source: Malaysiakini.com

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