Rasah PKR deputy division chief R Thangam was detained at about midnight today, believed to be in relation to the Bersih 3.0 rally on Apr 28.

thanggam bersih barrier breach barricade 010512According to PKR vice president N Surendran, who was alerted by other party members, Thangam was nabbed at his home in Seremban.

"I spoke to him at around midnight and he said he was in a police truck on the way to the Dang Wangi police station.

"We have not had any contact with him now and are being given the usual runaround (by the police)," he said.

Thangam, 50, is a Seremban-based businessman and PKR veteran. He is believed to be the first person to remove the police barriers at Dataran Merdeka during the Bersih 3.0 rally.

Speaking to Malaysiakini at about 8pm last night, Thangam said he had heard rumours that he would be arrested soon, related to the barrier breach.

Attempt to shift blame

Surendran said PKR lawyers, including himself, were given the runaround in their attempt to provide him with legal aid as it was believed that police will attempt to obtain a remand order today.

"We found out after much effort that he was being detained in Jinjang," he said when contacted.

Eventually, Thangam was remanded for three days by Magistrate Azmil Muntapha Abas
Surendran told Malaysiakini later that Thangam is being investigated under Section 440 of the Penal Code for committing "mischief during disturbances", which he described as a minor offence.

"This is no ordinary arrest. Twenty police personnel stormed his house close to midnight. Questions arises as to why this sort of methods were applied for a minor offence.

"It is clear that the government is persecuting Thangam in order to shift the blame on Pakatan Rakyat leaders for causing trouble at Bersih 3.0," said Surendran.

He said it was disturbing to note that Thangam was treated in such a matter when there was no evidence that he committed any violence, as opposed to the numerous police personnel who beat up protestors and journalists.

"It appears that there are clear political instructions to persecute Thangam coming from the very top."