13 arrested for turf war between three gangs over parking space for Thaipusam celebrations

26 Jan 2015 / 23:33 H.

GOMBAK: Thirteen people, including two women, were arrested for alleged involvement in a turf war between three notorious gangs over parking space for Thaipusam celebration.
Gombak police chief ACP Ali Ahmad said the suspects were nabbed in Batu Caves and Selayang areas in an operation codenamed "Ops Cantas" on Sunday and today.
The turf war saw one gang member being shot and injured on Sunday.
"The suspects, aged between 19 and 30, have previous criminal records and are on police wanted list," Ali said at a press conference at the Batu Cave temple today.
All those detained were remanded to facilitate further investigations under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempting to murder.
Since the illegal parking issue is happening every year during Thaipusam, Ali said police will take action this year to eradicate these gangs which prey on motorists attending Thaipusam celebrations, especially on the road shoulders along the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2).
"An estimated 1.6 million people are expected at Batu Caves for the sacred celebration but, just like in previous years, problems will arise.
"The recurring problem is parking. Police will allow devotees and the public to park at the entrance to the temple and on the road shoulder under the MRR2 flyover facing the temple and it is legal.
"However, many devotees have complained of touts profiteering from car parks located outside the temple area and pavement under the MRR2," added Ali.
To combat this issue, police will deploy more than 1,200 policemen and officers to keep a close eye on these areas to ensure the festival remains safe.
"We will be monitoring five zones and five temporary police bases will be set up at the temple area to deal with illegal parking attendants.
"If anyone demands payment, please don't pay and report to us immediately. Police will be everywhere on the day," added Ali.
Ali also warned visitors coming for the celebration not to block traffic as action will be taken, including towing away such vehicles.
Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah said the temple will also set up a task force to make Thaipusam a clean, peaceful and religious festival.
"The area outside the temple does not belong to us. We cannot do anything. So we ask the police and Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) to take action," said Nadarajah.
Thaipusam falls on Feb 3 but festivities begin tomorrow and will last till Feb 6.


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