Saturday, April 19, 2008

ISA detainee gets to visit sick daughter

ISA detainee gets to visit sick daughter
Azreen Madzlan | Apr 19, 08 3:24pm

Four-year old V Vishaleny refused to eat ever since she was warded for severe viral fever at the Cheras Pantai Medical Centre on Tuesday.

But when her father came to visit and fed her a slice of bread, she began to eat. But this was no ordinary hospital visit.

hospital visit 180408 familyVishaleny is the youngest daughter of K.Vasantha Kumar, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf)
coordinator who is currently being held under the ISA in Kamunting.

Yesterday, her wish to see her father came true. After her mother appealed to Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar to allow Vasantha Kumar to visit her was approved, Vishaleny has been waiting impatiently.

A big group of police and Special Branch officers were stationed at the hospital from noon until Vasantha Kumar arrived at 5 pm. About 50 of them were patrolling outside and inside the hospital building and another 25 went in to the pediatric ward with Vasantha Kumar.

Vasantha Kumar went in to see her daughter at 5.35 pm. However, Vishaleny was asleep and too tired to respond when her father arrived.

The detainee spent about 40 minutes with his sick daughter before being whisked away at the back exit, to avoid Hindraf supporters and the press. Reporters were not permitted into the ward.

Meanwhile, about 20 Hindraf supporters gathered at the paediatric ward in the hospital to catch a glimpse of the Hindraf leader.

Children psychologically affected

In an interview with Malaysiakini, Vasantha Kumar's wife, K Vickneswary said her two daughters, aged six and four are psychologically and physically affected by their father's detention.

"I dragged them along to Kamunting every weekend because they want to see their father. They're in school five days a week and because of the weekly trip, they did not get enough rest." she said.

Four year old V.Vishaleny, who is being warded for severe viral fever, has gotten sick since Sunday. She was warded after her school teacher called Vickneswary that she has been vomiting at school.

Vickneswary expressed her disappointment when the court postponed the hearing for the Hindraf Five ISA detainees for another month.

hindraf p uthayakumar taiping hospital 170408 03"Today is my daughter (who has gotten sick). We don't know whether others (ISA detainees’ children) will follow. They (ISA detainees) also have babies and small children. The children can't bear this anymore." she said.

Vickneswary expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar for allowing Vasantha Kumar to visit her daughter.

The five Hindraf leaders have been detained under the draconian law since December following the massive rally of Hindraf supporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Hindraf 5 remain united

Meanwhile, according to Hindraf supporter S Sivalingam, Vasantha Kumar had asked him to inform the public that the five Hindraf leaders are still together, quashing rumours that they are disunited.

Sivalingam also revealed that Vasantha Kumar had applied for permission to visit her daughter for the second time next Saturday but has not received a reply yet.

Hindraf leader Uthayakumar, according to Sivalingam, is now in better health after receiving proper medication and food for his diabetes following his hospitalisation.

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