Officer’s death unrelated to Bersih, police confirm
KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The death of a police officer yesterday was unrelated to chaotic scenes during the Bersih 3.0 rally for free and fair elections, Bernama Online reported Datuk Mohmad Salleh as confirming today.
According to the city police chief, the death of a 53-year-old police sergeant, Zaini Nawawi, has been attributed to breathing difficulties encountered during his normal patrol in the Bukit Bintang area.
“He was laid to rest at Sg Kantan Muslim cemetery in Kajang earlier today,” Mohmad Salleh was quoted as saying by Bernama Online.
No fatalities were recorded during yesterday’s Bersih 3.0 rally and the clashes that occurred after anti-riot personnel began firing tear gas and water cannons at protesters, Mohmad said today.
Earlier today, PAS accused police leaders of spreading a rumour of an officer’s death to rile up policemen and justify alleged police brutality during the Bersih 3.0 rally yesterday.
“The police have spread false news about the death of a traffic police (officer) to justify their brutality towards Bersih supporters,” PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu told a press conference here today.
Police today confirmed that 512 people were arrested in yesterday’s tumultuous Bersih 3.0, fewer than the 1,667 detained in the Bersih 2.0 rally held in July 9 last year in which one ex-soldier had died from cardiac arrest.
Yesterday’s Bersih rally for free and fair elections turned chaotic when Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel began firing tear gas and water cannons after demonstrators breached police lines in their attempt to reach Dataran Merdeka.
The event was initially planned for the historic square but authorities had secured a court order on Friday barring its use for public assemblies until May 1, forcing Bersih supporters to splinter into groups.