The MIC president said he will raise the matter (their release) with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) after he returns from Sabah.
He said R. Kenghadaran, 40, "is very sick" and M. Manoharan, 46, had won a seat in the March 8 general election. Manoharan had won the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor on a DAP ticket.
Samy Vellu also said that V. Ganabatirau, 34, and K. Vasantha Kumar, 34, had not been very much involved in the massive rally organised by the unregistered Hindraf in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 last year, which was a reason for the five to be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The fifth Hindraf leader under detention is P. Uthayakumar.
Datuk Samy Vellu said this at a news conference after opening a workshop on "Rebranding the MIC" attended by the party's 150 divisional leaders, here yesterday.
Continue wih the Bernama report:
"We are concerned about Kenghadaran and Manoharan. I spoke to the wives of both of them and, under the circumstances, I have decided to raise it with the government on these two people because they have made the approach.
"I will raise it (their release) with the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) after he returns from Sabah.If he (Abdullah) wants to release all (five) of them, it is up to him. We have no objection. We also don't want them to be kept inside for too long a period," he said.
"Kenghadaran is very sick while Manoharan is an elected member, so I think it is quite reasonable to ask the prime minister.
I will also meet Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar. I had already made some move on this earlier but I did not tell anyone. I will now make a firm move to see what can be done by the government with regard to their plight," he said.
He said Ganabatirau, and Vasantha Kumar were "not very much involved (in the rally), so the government has to make a decision."
The MIC supremo also said that his asking the government to release the five Hindraf leaders was not a publicity stint or a move to win back Indian support for the party, touted to be the largest Indian-based political party in the country.
"This is done in fairness, sympathy and, also, we feel that we as Indians have to do something about it. It is not a publicity stint," he said.
He said that though the party had received harsh criticism from certain quarters for failing to safeguard the welfare of Indians in the country, it would continue to do what it can on matters concerning the community.
"If they (those detained) go ahead with the advice of their lawyers, many things could happen. They should not simply be attracted to those people who want to argue for them. Many people like to argue for them so that they can get publicity. We don't want the publicity, we want the truth," the MIC chief said.
The Hindraf leaders were detained in December last year. Hindraf had also made several claims, which had been described as preposterous by most people and which were subsequently denied by the authorities.
Hindraf also submitted a memorandum containing various baseless accusations to the British High Commission here.
The five Hindraf leaders were detained under the ISA after the authorities found that they had touched on sensitive religious and racial issues and had made seditious
statements against the government.
Manoharan has become the third ISA detainee to contest and win a seat in a general election. Chan Kok Kit and Chian Heng Khai contested the Sungai Besi (Selangor) and Batu Gajah (Perak) parliamentary seats, respectively, on a DAP ticket in 1978 and won.