Police detain 14 and burn down Temiar Blockade

by Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:48pm

In a show of raw force and unleashed authority, Kelantan police detained 13 Orang Asli and their lawyer a little after 5pm today. (The COAC team was in Seremban then, where CN was just finishing a talk on Orang Asli issues.)

The full list of those detained/arrested are:

Azmi Badul
Arong Awir
Kamal Alik
Johar Abus
Abu Abus
Ghazali Anas
Hassan Ismail
Oncong Siput
Limat Jias
Shafie Dris (Jah Hut from Pahang)
Shahris Dris (Shafie’s son)
Man Ninggeh (Jah Hut from Pahang)
Ramli Harom (Jah Hut from Pahang)
Siti Kasim (lawyer from the Bar Council’s Committee for Orang Asli Rights)

Soon after they took in the detainees, some members of the police force went about burning down the blockade (i.e. the barrier and adjacent structures including resting areas).

The police continued to act in a high-handed way, all designed to instil fear into the Orang Asli and to cow them.

Present earlier at the scene was Nisra Nisran, the Deputy Director-General of JAKOA (Department of Orang Asli Development), himself a Temiar and from the area. He was trying to urge the Temiars to ‘runding’ (negotiate) with JAKOA. Needless to say the Temiar here no longer have any faith in the Department.

The Deputy D-G of JAKOA in yellow T-shirt.

As at 9.20pm: Lawyer Siti is told she is not arrested. But she cannot meet the other detainees, who are being kept in a room and supposedly being questioned.

The Orang Asli report that the police have set up a road block on the road leading out from their area to Gua Musang (near the Cameron Highlands junction), and have prevented the Temiars from going to the police station to show their support for those detained.

As at 10pm: 12 of the 13 detained Orang Asli have been released. No charges have been laid so far. Kamal is still being questioned.

As at 22.40pm: All are on ther way back. The general consensus among them: the OCPD is paling kasar and threatening.

All photos courtesy of Siti Kasim.