Riot police today dispersed about 300 people and arrested 24 people who had gathered at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre.
The police moved into the crowd just as they were singing the national anthem and getting ready to leave. Before that they have heard short speeches from several politicians.
"I was shooting the water cannon truck when a policeman told me to stop that. He ordered me to hand over the camera and tape. I turned and walked away when I was arrested," Shukri said when contacted.
Eyewitnesses said that Pua was physically manhandled and thrown into a waiting Black Maria. The police were also seen chasing the crowd into an Indian restaurant located opposite the Civic Centre.
Those arrested have been taken to the PJ police station. A small group of people have gathered outside in support of those arrested under the watchful eyes of a team of police anti-riot squad.
Earlier, at about 9.35pm, a candlelight vigil organised by polls reform group Bersih was hampered by police insistence on the gathered crowd to disperse. The vigil was to have started at 9.30pm at Padang Timur opposite Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya. However, the police had started blocking the roads leading to the venue as early as 7pm. And as the scheduled 9.30pm approached, the police urged the gathered crowd in the field to disperse. The crowd had then moved into the nearby Amcorp mall, engaged in a ‘wait-and-see' game with the police.
Roads blocked Eyewitnesses told Malaysiakini that roads leading to the PJ field have earlier been blocked by the police from about 7pm. Some have complained that the roadblocks had stopped them from going to a famous fast-food outlet in the vicinity. Many had resorted to park their vehicles in PJ new town - some two-kilometres away -to walk to the field to take part in the vigil. At about 8pm, eye-witnesses said that about 100 people had gathered at the venue. The police meanwhile had began asking the crowd to leave the place. By 8.30pm - with only an hour away from the planned vigil - the police managed to turn away most of the people from the field. The crowd, by now around 200, moved closer to the Amcorp mall, waiting for the organisers to start the vigil.
That rally, attended by 350 people, proceeded without a hitch.