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Police regain control of KL

 | April 28, 2012

Four busloads of protesters have been arrested and taken to the police training college in Jalan Semarak.


KUALA LUMPUR: The police launched a final assault with tear gas and water cannons late into the evening in an attempt to disperse some 5,000 protesters still putting up a fight in the city.

At 7.30pm, most of the protesters, after a series of clashes with the police, had retreated to Jalan Sultan and Central Market.

Satisfied with the situation, the police had also retreated to Dataran Merdeka.

Since the chaos erupted when protesters broke through the barricades at Dataran Merdeka, a steady stream of police vehicles have been pouring into the city, with police making scores of arrests.


While the majority of the 80,000 who joined the Bersih 3.0 rally earlier have dispersed, the remaining protesters were engaged in a cat and mouse game with the police around Masjid Jamek and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman near the Sogo shopping complex.

Ground reports said these protesters were trying to get into the Dataran Merdeka area, despite the historic site being taken over by the police.

Earlier, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in his Twitter message urged the protesters to disperse.

“Pakatan Rakyat leaders and I have left the gathering. I urge all those who joined us to disperse,” he said in his message.

Ground reports also stated that four buses loaded with arrested protesters were taken out of the Dataran Merdeka area to the police training college (Pulapol) at Jalan Semarak.

It was also learnt that PKR’s Batu MP Tian Chua, who is always a prominent figure during protests, was arrested near Dataran Merdeka.

Police under attack

Earlier, pandemonium erupted along Jalan Raja Laut as defiant protesters armed with planks and water bottles charged at the police.

Both the police and the protesters also erected barricades near the closed LRT station, with the former using piles of rubbish and discarded planks.

After firing tear gas and water cannons, the police had initially moved in to dismantle the make-shift barricade when a group of protesters started taunting them.

They then rallied the others who had dispersed when the police swung into action not to be afraid and to stand their ground.

A group of protesters then picked up discarded water bottles and planks, and charged at the police, who retreated.

The police fired tear gas and water cannons when protesters broke through the barbed-wire barriers erected at Dataran Merdeka.

The incident happened despite Bersih chairperson S Ambiga’s advice not to breach the barriers.

Near the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) building, police arrested those clad in yellow T-shirts but the protesters refused to back down.

A protester was also injured in the face when he was hit by a tear gas canister.

The organisers had asked participants to disperse, saying that the gathering had made its point.

However, the crowd was adamant in not wanting to disperse and started to chant “Buka Pagar” (open the barricade) aimed at the police.

As Ambiga was addressing the crowd and asking them to disperse, chants of “Reformasi” rang out and soon after Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim took to the podium to wave and acknowledge the crowd.

In reaction, the crowd started chanting “Buka Pagar” again.

The police had obtained a court order restraining Ambiga, the Bersih organisers and the public from entering Dataran Merdeka for four days starting Friday.

Earlier, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali in his speech whipped up the crowd sentiment, teasing the participants when he asked them if they wanted to go into Dataran Merdeka.

The crowd shouted back in unison that they wanted to do so.

“Dataran belongs to the rakyat…you can always take it back,” Azmin replied.

Tension continues

The police also fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters who gathered along Jalan Pudu.

In Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, more than 300 Bersih and PAS supporters faced off with the FRU and police near the Coliseum restaurant.

The protesters shouted insults such as “Anjing rasuah” and “Buka helmet dan cukur misai, pondan.” They had on occasion tossed back tear gas canisters fired at them.

Despite the tear gas, the protesters kept re-grouping.

Some protesters also claimed that the police had not allowed them to leave the city centre.

“We are being chased all over and beaten up.” But opposite the Sogo shopping complex, the police were being chased by the protesters at one point.

Police have also pushed the crowd back from Dataran to Masjid Jamek with tear gas and water cannon. Protesters were also seen throwing bottles at police in anger.


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