Curbs lifted on Malaysian Indian activist


Kuala Lumpur : Malaysian authorities have lifted restrictions on legislator-lawyer M. Manoharan who was the legal advisor of the banned outfit Hindu Rights Action Front (Hindraf).

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Manoharan’s wife S. Pushpaneela said her husband received a letter from the home minister on the day of his departure for Tanzania last Wednesday, saying he was free from the restriction order, Star Online, website of The Star, said Sunday.

Manoharan, along with four other Hindraf leaders – S. kengadharan, Vasanth Kumar, P. Ugthaya Kumar and Ganabati Rau – were detained under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA) after they staged a protest rally in November 2007 to highlight perceived discrimination of ethnic Indians in the country.

They were charged with sedition and suspected of terror links after they posted on a internet website a letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown demanding compensation for the ‘plight’ of the nearly two million Malaysian Indians, most of whom settled here during the British era.

They were released in April this year by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as what he called “a gesture of reconciliation.”

There was no word about restrictions on the other four.

While in detention, Manoharan had got elected to the Selangor state legislature on the ticket of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP). But he was not released, despite many pleas in courts, to take oath as a legislator and participate its proceedings.