It would be a bleak Deepavali for the families of families of the 12 men recently detained for suspected links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The wives of three of the suspects being held without charge for the alleged offence are now holding a hunger strike outside Bukit Aman.

They are Umah Devi, Sumathi and Vimala Jakumaran, the spouses of Gadek assemblyman G Saminathan, businessman S Chandru, and Melaka councillor V Suresh Kumar, respectively.

The women had been camping outside the federal police headquarters since Monday and plan to do so until their husbands are released.

"It has been 14 days since their arrest, and we have given the cooperation the police have requested.

"What else are they investigating? How long more do they need to investigate?" she was quoted lamenting to the Malay Mail.

"Deepavali is coming this weekend, but we will not be able to celebrate it as how we have before, knowing that our husbands are being detained for something they did not do."

The Kuala Lumpur High Court recently set Oct 31 to hear a habeas corpus application by five of the suspects arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).

To make things worse, Umah's said her young son still does not know the whereabouts of his father.

“Until now I don’t know what to tell my son. He has been asking me where is ‘appa’ (father). He has also asked me why are we not going Deepavali shopping. What am I to tell him?” she reportedly said, in tears.

Umah further lambasted Pakatan Harapan politicians who had previously advocated against the use of Sosma, but are now silent on the issue.

Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaren is also among the five who were arrested on suspicion of supporting the LTTE.

Inspector-General of police Abdul Hamid Bador had recently asked family members of the detainees for their patience and assured that the detainees will be taken care of.

"I sympathise with the families as Deepavali is approaching. But we had to act, in the interest and for security (of our country). For the families who are unhappy, please bear with us.

"Rest assured, the detainees are well taken care of and we will allow them rights that are within the confines of the law. Their families can visit. We will allow them," he was quoted saying by The Star.

The LTTE was embroiled in a civil war with the Sri Lankan army for almost three decades, in its quest for an independent Tamil state in the north and east of the country.

It is listed as a terrorist organisation in dozens of countries.

The Sri Lankan military defeated the LTTE in 2009, ending the civil war.

Source: The Malay Mail, The Star
Photo: The Malay Mail