Monday, March 11, 2013

Call for independent investigation into Ragu’s death in police custody

Media Statement by M.Kula Segaran, MP for Ipoh Barat and DAP National Vice Chairman at the Ipoh Hospital on 11th March 2013.

Call for independent investigation into Ragu’s death in police custody

Another death happened in police custody at the Kampar police lock up yesterday. Ragu s/o Munusamy 47 years old died in mysterious circumstances in the lock up. He was young and healthy at the time he was detained at the lock up.

The local NGOs and the DAP members and I visited the family at the mortuary today.

We expressed our deepest condolences and sadness at Ragu’s death. We will provide the necessary legal help to Ragu’s family.

Apparently Ragu surrendered to the police in Kampar on the 4thMarch after he had hurt an individual. He admitted to the crime and he was promptly arrested and the police obtained a 4 days remand order.
Speaking to Ragu's family members

Ragu was only charged in the Kampar Magistrate Court on Friday the 8th, 4 days after his surrender.

The police owes an explanation as to why they needed 4 days remand order and why Ragu was not charged the very next day of the surrender as he had admitted to the crime.

On the 8thMarch, Ragu was fined RM2000 and sentenced to 8 months jail in default 2 further months. He could not pay the fine and thus he had to serve a total of 10 months jail term.

The nearest prison to Kampar police is the Tapah Prison. Although Ragu was sentenced early in the morning on 8th March2013 at the Kampar Magistrate Court, the police did not send Ragu to Tippah prison immediately or on the working day of Friday. Instead he was detained at the Kampar lock up.

This detention in Kampar police lock up exceeds the jurisdiction of the police and they need to explain why he was detained here and not sent to Tapah prison.

On 10thMarch2013 at about 9am, the Kampar police arrived at Ragu’s house and asked for his original Identity Card (IC). They at the material time failed to disclose his death to the family members. Only after receiving the IC, the police informed Ragu’s mother that he had died early that morning when the police checked him in the lock up.

Apparently there were CCTV. Hope fully this can be of some help to find out the truth.

The MP for Kampar is the present Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong. He visited the family and had provided financial assistance to the family for funeral expenses. He further promised to help the family to ascertain the cause of death of Ragu.

Immediate family members were told they would be present in the mortuary when the post mortem was conducted. Unfortunately the forensic team and police prevented the family members even to see the body.

When someone is detained by the police, one would expect the detainee to be safe and alive when he is released. But too many deaths in police custody have happened.

From 2000 to 2011, a total of 156 detainees died in lock up. Many more have died in 2012.

The last place for a person to die would be the lock up. Many a time detainees have died under mysterious circumstances. But many detainees died due to police brutality.

Is it not right to expect the police to police themselves? Are they so undisciplined?

The implementation of Independent Police Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in our country as recommended by the Royal Commission on Police is most relevant. Pakistan Rakyat has cited the implementation of IPCMC in its manifesto.

How can one trust and have confidence in the police themselves to conduct allegations and wrong doing on themselves. Like in the present Ragu’s case, the is police the authority permitted to conduct investigation will be police. How to have gain public confidence without an independent investigation?

I urge the Inspector General of Police to form a high level independent committee to investigate the deaths in lock up until the IPCMC is established. Bringing the wrong doers to court and immediately suspending the police officers concerned is a must.

In any case an inquiry as per the Criminal Procedure code is required

No comments:

Post a Comment