Malaysian Cops Teargas Hindu Protesters

November 24, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: CBS News

Wire Service: AP

Malaysian police fired tear gas and water cannon Sunday to disperse thousands of ethnic Indians who tried to stage a rally that had been banned amid government accusations that its organizers were stirring racial hatred, activists said.

Witnesses claimed dozens of demonstrators were beaten and arrested.

At least 5,000 people gathered before dawn near Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas Twin Towers, in a rare attempt by Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority to highlight complaints that they are economically marginalized by the ethnic Malay Muslim-dominated government.

Thousands of others massed in Batu Caves, a limestone cave Hindu temple on the city's outskirts, hoping to join the others in a march to the British High Commission to protest how ethnic Indians have remained largely poor since British colonial rule.