Turf war at Batu Caves

26 Jan 2015 / 11:25 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Traders who will be selling their wares at the upcoming Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves are not the only ones looking forward to earning a lucrative income next week.
    Underworld gangs are also after their share of the cake, making a quick buck through jaga kereta or illegal parking activities from the thousands of motorists who will be flocking to the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam temple here for the annual grand celebration.
    It is learnt that three notorious gangs, all of which are identified with double numbers and were listed as banned by the Home Ministry last year, are out to prey on motorists parking in the vicinity of the temple, especially the parking lot within its compound.
    Today, the turf war led to a 26-year-old gang member being shot and injured during a confrontation with a rival gang member at the Desa Batu Caves flats, not far from the temple.
    Police said investigations revealed that at 3am today, the victim's brother had received an anonymous call from a man who warned him to keep away from the temple's car park area during Thaipusam, or he would be shot dead.
    The caller had apparently claimed that his gang would be taking control of the parking lots during the celebration this year.
    It is learnt that when the victim came to know about the call from his brother, he immediately headed to the flats alone to look for the leader of a rival gang.
    When the man confronted the rival gang leader and an accomplice, a heated argument ensued, during which the rival gang leader pulled out a pistol and fired a shot at the victim.
    Gombak police chief ACP Ali Ahmad said the victim who was shot in his left arm fled the scene and alerted his brother who took him to the Selayang Hospital where he is reported to be in stable condition.
    Ali said preliminary investigations showed that an ongoing "turf war" between the area gangs over parking space during Thaipusam had led to the incident.
    "Our investigations show that these gangs have their respective territories surrounding the temple which they will control for illegal parking fees including road shoulders and open spaces,"he said.
    "We have launched a hunt for the gunman and his accomplice. We have also tasked a special investigations team to counter these gangs and their 'turf war' to ensure they are not a nuisance to the public," he told theSun.
    Ali said police will ensure the Thaipusam celebrations proceed smoothly without incident.


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