Three or four youths dressed in casual clothing tried to ‘provoke’ the police into acting against Bersih 3.0 rally participants on April 28, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry panel was told today.

Tourist guide Karam Singh, the 14th witness to testify, said the group was "toying" with the police who had formed a human barricade along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur.

"They were trying to provoke the police but didn't look like participants," he told the three-member panel probing into human rights violations during the rally.

Karam, 50, said he was in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman that evening.

He said his suspicions were raised because the youths stood out among the sea of yellow-clad Bersih supporters.

"They were communicating among themselves, using hand signals and gestures,” he said.

NONEWhen Suhakam commissioner Detta Samen (left) asked if the youths could be agent provocateurs, Karam Singh agreed.

He said another group of young men on motorcycles were taking "instructions" from "these ring leaders".

As rounds of tear gas were fired to disperse the crowd, the youths ran to the roadside and "picked up discarded water bottles and stones" and threw these at the police, he said.

"The police chased them but I didn't see anyone being arrested. But we were caught in the middle and people around me were arrested instead," he said.

‘No more confidence in police’

Karam said he evaded arrest and found his way out of the crowd. He walked towards Jalan Tun Perak, where he and a friend went into a fast food outlet for a drink.

"The outlet staff locked the glass door after everyone who walked in. We sat down after getting a drink. Suddenly a group of police officers - in blue uniforms and in plain clothes - banged on the door demanding that the staff open it.

NONE"I was fearful for my safety after what I saw earlier and requested the staff, 'Tolong jangan buka pintu' (please don't open the door).

"But the police brandished their authority cards and demanded that the door be opened.
"They then barged in and started beating up people. I was punched in the face and my friend and I were told to remove our yellow T-shirts.”

One police personnel shouted: "Sial! Lu orang punya pasal, anggota kita seorang mati!" (Damn you! Because of all of you, one of our personnel is dead!).

Karam Singh said he did not lodge a police report as he has lost confidence in the police force.

"If they can barge into the premises just like that, they can barge into my house and arrest me. I was embarrassed but no major harm was done, so I decided not to (lodge a complaint)," he said.

Later, he had to walk shirt-less to Pudu Sentral to take the LRT at Plaza Rakyat.

The panel is led by Suhakam vice-chairperson Khaw Lake Tee, who is assisted by commissioners Detta and Mahmood Zuhdi A Majid.