By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang today demanded a “full and credible public inquiry” to answer allegations of police violence and the “excessive” use of force to disperse Bersih 3.0 protesters last Saturday.
The sit-in protest for free and fair polls, which organisers had earlier promised would remain peaceful, had turned chaotic in the afternoon when police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water at the crowd after some protesters breached the barricades at Dataran Merdeka.
Lim (picture) said the inquiry should reveal why there was a “police rampage of excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force...against peaceful protesters” and why the media was attacked and had their equipments destroyed.
“Who in the police force or Home Ministry were responsible in giving the greenlight for these human rights violations and disregard of principles for the use of force and firearms by police personnel?” asked Lim in a speech.
He questioned why there were no name tags and numbers on some of the police personnel uniforms.
Lim asked “Why didn’t the police just take action against them (those who broke through the barricade) instead of punishing the vast peaceful majority who...wanted to disperse in peace?”
The DAP veteran also said the inquiry must show whether the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission of Inquiry’s 125 recommendations should be fully carried out — including the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
Allegations that train stations near Dataran Merdeka were closed down for the police to “trap” protesters must also be answered, he added.
He also said the public should know if mobile networks were jammed intentionally to cause a communication breakdown during the rally.
However the Ipoh Timor MP acknowledged that the police had acted with “utmost restraint and professionalism” before the violence started at 3pm.
He agreed with the Inspector-General of Police’s statement that, “Just because there are hooligans in the police force does not mean that the entire organization comprise thugs”.
He repeated his call for an impartial inquiry to “ensure that there is justice for all the victims of the brutality and violence — whether police, media representatives or peaceful protesters.”
Last Saturday, some unruly protesters had challenged police orders to disperse after the rally ended.
They were seen attacking police with glass bottles, mineral water bottles and broken concrete slabs.