Police have arrested five people in Bandar Botanik, Klang, following a confrontation with Klang Municipal Council (MPK) personnel this morning while the council was demolishing a cattle farm and two Hindu temples, according to media reports.
The five are a cattle farm owner, his two brothers, and two political activists from PSM.
The Sun quoted South Klang OCPD Shamsul Amar Ramlee saying the farm owner was arrested for allegedly obstructing MPK personnel by hurling cattle urine and dung at them at about 10.30am.
The other four were arrested for alleged provocation when they pushed the personnel on duty who were attempting to conduct the demolition, the report said.
Shamsul reportedly said the five men aged between 24 and 59 were taken to the district police headquarters for questioning.
He said police had been called in to assist the MPK and the district land office in the operation.
According to The Star, Klang PSM branch advisor K Ramasamy said about 150 enforcement officers from the police's Light Strike Force, MPK, and Klang Land Office had arrived at 8.30am to dismantle the structures.
He reportedly claimed that MPK had also confiscated 30 of the 150 cows on the farm, which also has 50 goats.
Ramasamy was quoted as saying that PSM had attempted to negotiate for a stop to the demolition works. However, a scuffle broke out when one protester attempting to stop the demolition hit a plain-clothed police officer whom he had mistaken for a thug.
Both The Sun and The Star identified the farm owner as A Thevindran, while the PSM activists who had been detained are Nik Aziz Afiq and K Paranjothi.
The Sun quoted Klang PSM division secretary M Sivaranjini as saying that Thevindran had been rearing cattle in the area for decades.
The area was previously the Bukit Tinggi estate, but Thevindran was supposedly allowed by a housing developer to stay 16 years ago when it was developed into Taman Botanik.
Sivaranjini reportedly said there was a verbal agreement between Gamuda Bhd and Thevindran that he would eventually receive approval for the land and the company also built the cattle farm structure and two Hindu temples there for him.
In 2016 however, the district land office supposedly told Thevindran that the land he occupied had been transferred to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).
Thevindran sought an alternative site within five kilometres from his current location through several meetings with state authorities, but was offered a site 40km away in Kuala Langat instead.
Sivaranjini said Thevindran turned down the offer, and subsequently received a notice to vacate the land last week.
She reportedly said Sentosa assemblyperson G Gunaraj intervened at the demolition today, which led to it being postponed for two days for further discussions. However, part of the farm and a Hindu temple had already been demolished.
Meanwhile, The Star reported that the land not only belonged to Jais but also the Selangor Drainage and Irrigation Department (JPS).
“We had no choice but to evict them today because Jais already has building plans for this area and there are also plans to widen the Aur river for flood mitigation purposes,” the daily quoted Klang Land Office assistant district officer Mohamad Saiful Azri as saying.
He added that the cows and goats have been temporarily sent to a nearby farm.
Saiful reportedly said the land office and the state government have had numerous discussions with Thevindran since 2006 and even offered a two-hectare plot in Olak Lempit Banting that is larger and more suitable for cattle farming than the existing plot.
The Star also reported the MPK had received numerous complaints about cows wandering the streets and posing a danger to motorists, while police said there were reports of vehicles getting into accidents with cows.
The report said cow manure left on streets and sidewalks had been a bane for residents, and business owners have complained of its strong stench.
In the latest development, Sivaranjini said the five were released on police bail at around midnight.