Sunday, March 8, 2015

Police custodial deaths: Is the government blind or incompetent or both, Datuk Paul Low?

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 7th, March, 2015

Police custodial deaths: Is the government blind or incompetent or both, Datuk Paul Low?  

Yesterday, Coroner Rozi Bainun in her verdict held that police were responsible for the death of C. Sugumar two years ago as he was under their custody and handcuffed.

She said there was unlawful omission by the police for their failure to send C. Sugumar to hospital.
This was another shocking death which ought not to have happened.

On January 16, the Coroner’s Court ruled that the death of lorry driver Chandran Perumal in a police lock-up two years ago was due to the negligence of police officers.

I have on January 17 in a statement said:

“ I will not be surprised if any member of  public says that he/she  is not shocked to hear the news that Chandran’s death was due to police ‘s negligence because there have been past custodial deaths where the police have been confirmed to be the culprits in causing the deaths.

However, the shocking part was how the inhumane the police officers were towards Chandran , resulting  in his death from a heart disease after being deprived of his medication. ”

It will be most tragic if  we were to come to a day  when the public are not shocked as well about how detainees have died due to inhumane behavior of the police simply because such cases have become a rule of the day.

Something is seriously wrong with the Police training when professionally trained personnel who are responsible to protect lives of people could commit such inhumane behavior.

Something is definitely wrong with the government when it has not come up with an effective solution to stop custodial deaths, despite increasing number of custodial deaths. 

In June 2013, the minister in charge of integrity and corruption Datuk Paul Low had assured that the government was determined to stop all future tragedies behind bars.

“I can assure you that the government is very concerned with the alarming statistics and something has to be done."

“Do not think they are blind to what is out there. It is just that the process of government needs to find a solution to stop this,” he said.

So what has happened after Paul’s assurance? More custodial deaths. 

Is the government blind or incompetent or both, Datuk Paul Low? 

A death is not a statistics.  Custodial deaths must not become the rule of the day.

There must be no more delay in setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by the Tun Dzainnudian led Royal Commission of Inquiry.

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