We have no terror links: Hindraf leader


Kuala Lumpur : A Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader, who was released after 18 months in a Malaysian jail, has denied the government’s charge of having terror links, saying “ours is a people’s struggle, we are not terrorists”.

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Hindraf legal adviser M. Manoharan said none of the four others leaders, who too were imprisoned and later released, had any links with Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“Ours is a people’s struggle, we are not terrorists and neither are the movement’s main members – P. Uthayakumar, P. Waythamoorthy, S. Ganabathi Rao and K. Vasathakumar,” he said.

These leaders were jailed under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA) after they organised a protest rally in November 2007 to voice grievances of the Tamil community like discrimination in jobs and education and desecration of Hindu shrines.

Tamil Hindus form bulk of the two million-plus ethnic Indian community that is 7.4 percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population.

Manoharan said his detention over allegations that he was linked to the LTTE was “absurd”, The Star said.

“Never have I visited Sri Lanka and our movement has no links with the LTTE. It is a figment of the government’s imagination.

“Accusations like this only fuel our inner strength to fight on to gain freedom for the people,” he said.

Manoharan said he would continue his struggle for a better Malaysia, even if it leads to another arrest under the ISA that he wants abolished.

Despite being in jail, Manoharan was elected a legislator in March last year. But he was not released to take his oath or attend the assembly.

From next week, Manoharan would visit his constituents to thank them for their support and to take care of their problems.

He said he also needs to catch up with his children, 12-year-old twins Shivaranjini and Hariharan and Ganendra, 10.

Meanwhile, Vasanthakumar, who was also released from ISA detention, said he was resting at home, recuperating from a knee injury.

“I want to spend time with my family first,” he said at his home in Kuala Lumpur.

Vasanthakumar said his mother described his release as her best Mother’s Day gift.

“I’m glad everything is going on well now.”