The Sun (Malaysia)

11 quizzed over fracas

> Deputy minister among those questioned by cops over incident at Tamil Malar headquarte­rs


PETALING JAYA: Police have questioned 11 people, including Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan, to facilitate investigat­ions into a fracas between MIC Youth members and staff of vernacular newspaper Tamil Malar on Tuesday.

“We have questioned people from both sides to get a clearer picture. We have also questioned Saravanan,” Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Sukri Kaman said.

Tamil Malar managing director S.M. Periasamy said he had invited Saravanan, who is also the MIC Federal Territory liaison committee chairman, to his office on the day of the incident.

“I received a phone call at about 10am from Saravanan complainin­g about a story we ran on the rental collection of an MICowned building in the Federal Territorty on Tuesday. As I was on my way to Seremban, I told him to come to my office in the afternoon.

Periasamy said he was upset over the incident that took place outside the newspaper’s office despite an assurance given to Saravanan that it was willing to publish the party’s side of the story.

“I assured him the story will be printed on our front page, to which he agreed. But an hour later, I received a call from my staff informing me that there was an angry crowd at the ground floor of our headquarte­rs,” he said.

He immediatel­y instructed the staff to lock the doors, but before they could do that, editor Oms Thiagaraja­n and legal adviser K. Saraswathy were roughed up by the crowd.

Three police reports were subsequent­ly lodged against Saravanan.

“We only wrote about the rental collection of the building in Jalan Lumut, which was bought in 1974 by MIC,” said Periasamy.

“The rental collection of this building was not reflected in MIC’s annual reports and a question on the matter was brought up last Sunday at the MIC Wilayah annual general meeting.”

Saravanan has refuted sending his men to the Tamil daily’s headquarte­rs in Jalan Ipoh to cause trouble but said he went there to prevent his party members from breaking the law.

He also downplayed the incident, a video of which has gone viral, as just a scuffle and “people were just pushing each other”.

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