Johor police say probing claims of brutality during anti-Shiah raid

Mohd Kamarudin assured the public police will investigate the claims and take appropriate action if the policemen were found to be high-handed in assisting the religious enforcement officers. — Picture by Ben Tan
Mohd Kamarudin assured the public police will investigate the claims and take appropriate action if the policemen were found to be high-handed in assisting the religious enforcement officers. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, Sept 11 — Johor police are investigating claims of brutality during an anti-Shiah raid conducted by the state Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ) raid here on Monday night.

Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said police have received three reports alleging that the police did not follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) during a JAINJ raid at a house in Taman Bukit Kempas, Bukit Kempas here.

He said police will investigate the claims and take appropriate action if the policemen were found to be high-handed in their actions when assisting the religious enforcement officers.

“We (police) believe that the policemen that were present acted within the confines of the law and there was no abuse of authority during the JAINJ operation.

“However, police will also not hesitate to take action if investigators find the three reports alleging police abuse to be false,” said Mohd Kamarudin when contacted by Malay Mail today.

He was responding to three police reports that were lodged at the Larkin police station under the Johor Baru South district police this afternoon by three men who were in the house during the raid on Monday night in Bukit Kempas here.

Mohd Kamarudin assured the public that the police will look into both aspects of the case as part of its investigations.

On the JAINJ raid against alleged Shiah activity, he stressed that the operation was not under the police, but initiated by the religious agency.

“Police were requested there only as a supporting agency to assist the religious enforcement officers.

Earlier today, news portal Free Malaysia Today reported on the rough treatment allegedly given to the Shiah Muslims detained in the JAINJ raid at a private religious event on Monday night, including where a gun was trained on one of them.

Yesterday, it was reported that JAINJ detained eight people, including four foreigners, during a raid against suspected Shiah followers at a house in Bukit Kempas.

The raiding party, led by JAINJ enforcement unit assistant director Noorfendi Abdul Jabar, saw 54 people, 31 men and 23 women, screened at the three-storey house during the two-hour operation that started at 10.45pm on Monday and ended early yesterday.

The operation, called “Ops Hauzah”, was targeting adherents of the Shiah denomination of Islam based on information that Monday night was the beginning of the Day of Ashura, which commemorates the death of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussain Ali during the Battle of Karbala more than 3,000 years ago.

In Malaysia, only the Sunni denomination of Islam and its Shafie school of jurisprudence are considered official.

Shiah is Islam’s second-largest denomination and practised by an estimated 15 per cent of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, but is regarded as deviant here.

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