Monday, November 26, 2007

City At A Standstill As Protesters Take To Streets

Police also grappled with protesters who put up a fight and tried to defy arrest.

Musa said police would have negotiated with the leaders of the rally to hand over the memorandum to the British High Commission and avert the clashes, "but there was no leader in sight".

Throughout the morning, journalists did not see any of the main organisers of the demonstration -- Hindraf's P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, S. Ganapathi Rao and R. Kengadharan.

Uthayakumar and Manoharan only emerged towards the end about 1pm to address the protesters, following which they dispersed.

Uthayakumar told his supporters that although they did not present the memorandum to the British High Commission, the event was "a success".

The demonstration ended about 1.30pm. In the aftermath, the only evidence of a dramatic morning were the strewn water bottles, overturned dustbins, broken metal railings and broken flower pots.

But for the second time in two weeks, the capital was brought to a standstill and tens of thousands of its dwellers fearfully kept indoors while shops were shuttered.