Allegation of inadequate protection in anti-rabies operation not true: Police

MIRI (Bernama) – Police have vehemently denied accusations by Sarawak Veterinary Association (SVA) that police failed to provide adequate protection for frontline personnel in anti-rabies operation in the state.

Sarawak CID chief, Datuk Dev Kumar said every police report made against veterinary staff involved in anti-rabies operation was investigated by the police.

“We were taken aback by SVA allegations, I will personally look into the investigations and on January 7, two social media users were arrested by the police in Padawan for issuing threats against veterinary staff,” he said in a statement yesterday.

In addition, Dev said, the police were now investigating two police reports lodged in Samarahan and Miri yesterday and would be arresting the individuals once the investigating officers had identified them.

On security protection during anti-rabies operation, Dev explained that the police would provide security protection if prior request was made with OCPD.

“If the police were not notified earlier of any anti-rabies operation, we could not be blamed if an untoward incident occurs,” he said.

He said the police could not be arresting people for hurling abuses at frontliners as action can only be taken if the threats issued were criminal in nature and a police report had been lodged by the aggrieved party.

He said police were open to discussion to improve security during anti-rabies operations and SVA would be invited to a dialogue with the OCPDs to iron out issues that may be of the concern to SVA.

“This will be the sensible approach instead of attacking the police through the media,” he added.

SVA president Dr Chuo Hock Tieng was quoted by a local media today that SVA was disappointed with the lack of protection by the police for personnel during an operation and the inaction on several police reports lodged by those involved in the operation after receiving death and bomb threats.

SVA made the allegations after the launch of Miri Division Rabies Mass Vaccination Programme by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas on Sunday.

Dr Chou wanted security to be stepped up at Sarawak Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SVDL), where stray dogs caught by local authorities were put to sleep.