KUALA LUMPUR: Social media sites are abuzz with "new evidence" that PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and deputy president Azmin Ali had allegedly instigated the charge on out-of-bounds Dataran Merdeka which led to chaos on the streets.
A YouTube video depicts a yellow-clad Anwar pointing at Dataran Merdeka and then making a rolling gesture with both hands at Azmin.
Azmin, who is standing with his back to the historic site, responds by jerking his thumb over his shoulder towards the field and nodding several times, and then bending to speak to a man dressed in yellow standing next to him.
The man, who Twitter users claim to recognise as a PKR Seremban member, removes a metal gate and darts into Dataran Merdeka, followed closely by a surging crowd.
Less than two minutes later, the water cannon trucks open fire.
Although Saturday's Bersih rally started off as a peaceful assembly, when demonstrators breached the Dataran Merdeka boundaries, the police fired water cannon and several rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The Star reported earlier that it was believed the crowd became unruly after a speech by Azmin, who asked the demonstrators whether they wanted to "occupy Dataran Merdeka”. His question was met with cries of “hancur rempuh, buka pagar” (crash and destroy, open the gates).
"The Dataran does not belong to Kuala Lumpur City Hall. It belongs to the people," he told the crowd at the intersection of Jalan Raja and Jalan Tun Perak.
City police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohmad Salleh said they had no choice but to take stern action as the crowd had started throwing objects and charging towards Dataran Merdeka.
Bersih chief S Ambiga admitted to reporters Sunday that supporters had breached the barrier around Dataran Merdeka, which a court order had closed to public gatherings, before police reacted.
She also pointed out that the crowd had been instructed by the Bersih committee to not to enter the historic square without police permission.
Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat was quoted in a news portal saying that the organisers "lost control" of the rally participants.
The video clip was available earlier in the evening, but was repeatedly taken down despite being reposted on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; leading to some Twitter users posting up screen captures of the relevant scenes.
Meanwhile, Azmin has denied instigating protesters to ram through police barriers, saying he was instead trying to negotiate with the police to let the protesters into Dataran Merdeka, The Star reported Monday.
Bersih 3.0 protests