IPOH, Oct 24 — Ipoh police chief ACP Yahaya Hassan said that a farmer and three activists from the Socialist Party of Malaysia’s (PSM) were detained for obstructing public servants from carrying out their enforcement duties during a protest over farmer’s eviction in Kanthan, Tambun here.

Yahaya said that the four men aged between 30 and 68 were arrested after a group of farmers and political party members obstructed an operation carried out by the Perak Land and Minerals Office (PTG) at the Silver Valley Technology Park project site at around 10.05am today.

"The operation by PTG was also joined by several government agencies and police were mobilised there to maintain peace.

"Police arrested the four individual at around 2.30pm after they obstructed the public officers from carrying out their duties under the Section 425 of the National Land Code 1965,” he said in a statement.

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Yahaya said that the four men were arrested under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing public servant from carrying out their task.

He also said a police report were also lodged over the arrest of the four individuals.

Yahaya also said that police received a report from PTG over a woman who believed to be a member of PSM for obstructing PTG’s vehicle during the operation.

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He said the case is also being investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

Yahaya said the farmers and political party members were dispersed peacefully from the area at around 2.45pm.

Earlier, PSM secretary-general A. Sivarajan said one its activists were injured while four others including party chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar were arrested while protesting the eviction of farmers.

Sivarajan said Chong Yee Shan suffered a broken tooth and injured her nose after she was allegedly shoved by an official from the PTG.

Based on a video shared in PSM’s WhatsApp group, a commotion broke out when the farmers and activists present at the area attempted to block the PTG personnel and their vehicles.

Sivarajan said that PSM activists Karthiges Manickam, 42; Ho Pon Tien, 53; and Kesavan Parvathy, 30, were also arrested in the incident.

He claimed that the PTG officers were attempting to evict the farmers, who have been occupying the land for decades, despite their pending application for the land and ongoing discussion over the matter.

"Why evict the productive farmers when they have applied for the land and waited patiently to comply with the state government for alternative land offer?

"It was the state government who failed to relocate them (farmers). Where is the state government’s commitment to food security?” he said in a statement.

Sivarajan said that PSM demands for the immediate release of four arrested and urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to intervene as the farmers are from his parliamentary constituency.