JEMPOL, July 27, 2015:

A Gatco Estate settler was arrested yesterday by the Jempol police for allegedly causing hurt to a thug who had been terrorising the settlers.

Hindu Rights Action Force’s (Hindraf) secretary Muniandy Ponnusamy, who claimed that the non-governmental organisation represented the settler, alleged that the thugs had entered the settler’s house and set fire to his car last Wednesday.

Muniandy said the settler was arrested yesterday at IPD Jempol when he went to the police station to make inquiries about the violence taking place in the Gatco settlement.

“On July 22, about 11pm, thugs entered into the (settler’s) house and set ablaze his car and threatened violence against (the settler) and his family and his lawyer,” according to a statement released by Muniandy today.

He said the settler and his friends then confronted the thug and his gang members on the same day, leading to an altercation.

“This incident was reported to the authorities, but strangely police chose to arrest (the settler), who is also a teacher, instead of the thug who committed arson,” Muniandy alleged.

He also criticised developments at today’s remand proceeding, claiming police made an oral application for four-day remand on the pretext of updating their investigation papers, conducting an identification parade and locating a piece of wood used in the altercation.

“Hindraf lawyers P. Waytha moorthy and Karthigesan Shanmugam, who represented (the settler), argued that the business of updating investigations papers has nothing to do with the need to remand a suspect and is a clear abuse of the court system,” he said.

The lawyers also argued that the complainant was known to the settler, rendering the identification parade completely illogical and unnecessary.

Slamming the police for the four-day remand to seek an alleged piece of wood, the lawyers said it was an insult to the police force.

“The Hindraf lawyers argued that it would be an insult for the police to seek 4 days remand to look for an alleged piece of wood as it showed how inefficient the police force was.

“Magistrate Zuhair Bin Rosli, after hearing arguments, granted until midnight today for police to complete their investigations and ordered the settler be released before midnight today.”

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