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Police form special investigative team to probe Sri Lankan envoy assault

PETALING JAYA: Selangor police have set up a special investigation team to probe Sunday’s assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Selangor police chief Datuk Abdul Samah Mat said they have also acquired a three-day remand order against five suspects arrested in connection with the incident.

The men, aged between 27 and 56, and four others still at large, are being investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.

“Following the incident, police have set up a special investigation team and between 5pm Sunday and 7am yesterday (Monday), they have managed to trace and arrest five suspects.

They are being remanded for three days until tomorrow (Wednesday).

“Three of them were detained in Sungai Siput, Perak, while two others were nabbed in Dengkil and Rawang (Selangor).

“A manhunt is ongoing for four others whom police have identified,” he told reporters at the district police headquarters, here today. Abdul Samah was attending the state police monthly assembly.

He said police are also looking into the backgrounds of individuals and organisations who lodged 47 reports against former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit here.

The probe is to, among others, determine if there were any affiliations between the complainants and the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organisation.

Abdul Samah said initial investigations revealed that the attack on Ibrahim was linked to the protests against Rajapaksa’s visit.

When asked on why there were no security details assigned to provide protection to the envoy at KLIA, he said police was not informed of Ibrahim’s plan to send a Sri Lankan minister to the airport.

He said the two policemen who broke up the attack on Ibrahim were also not aware of the envoy’s identity until much later.

On criticism hurled at police that the policemen had failed to make immediate arrests on those who attacked Ibrahim, Abdul Samah said the policemen’s concern at the time was to stop a fight and rescue the victim.

It was reported that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police are investigating the case according to procedures under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

The preventive law is also used to probe local groups which demonstrated support for LTTE, which has been banned by the United Nations, during their protests against Rajapaksa’s visit.-nst

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