Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Death in Custody - Taipan police station in USJ

And another death in police custody...

The distraughted family of a 22-year-old man who died in police custody yesterday lodged a police report this evening allegeding foul play.

Kugan Ananthan, who was detained in connection with several car theft cases, died at the Taipan police station in USJ yesterday morning.

kugan death protest 210109 posters 03His family today accused the police of killing Kugan while in custody and lodged a report at the Subang Jaya district police headquarters in Seri Kembangan.

The youth was detained by the police on Jan 15 in Kajang for questioning regarding several car theft incidences in the Subang Jaya district.

Kugan was subsequently held at the Puchong police station under a two-week remand to facilitate investigations.

kugan death protest 210109 posters 02Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar was reported as saying yesterday that Kugan had died of breathing difficulties.

Photographs and video footages of Kugan taken yesterday at the mortuary however revealed severe marks on his body. There were also deep cuts in his wrists and blood was oozing from his nose and mouth.

MIC Youth members show support

Four family members of Kugan filed the police report today and they were joined by lawyers, human rights activists and several politicians from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

kugan ananthan injuries 210109 backAmong them were PKR's Kapar MP S Manikavasagam, DAP's Puchong MP Gobind Singh and Teluk Intan's DAP MP M Manoharan.

Also present was a group of MIC Youth members led by its head T Mohan. Hindraf representative, led by S Jayathas, were also there.

Some 80 people had also gathered at the police station to show their anger over Kugan's death.

protest against detainee kugan death in brickfields 220109They held up banners with pictures of the deceased, showing the injuries he sustained while in police custody.

Some of the banners read: "Police are licensed killers", "Police are killing Indians" and "Police are thirsty for Indian blood" in both Malay and English. They also briefly chanted slogans demanding a probe into Kugan's death.

Heavy police presence

Talking to reporters later, Kugan's family members said that the deceased did not suffer from asthma and could not have died from breathing difficulties as claimed by the police.

Manikavasagam and Gobind added that the police were attempting to cover up the death and that there should be a full and open investigation by the Home Ministry, which oversees the police department.

Manikavasagam also said that he would organise rallies to protest against the police.

The crowd then dispersed peacefully after gathering for about 30 minutes.

There was a heavy police presence outside of the station while the police report was being lodged.

Eight Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) vehicles were parked within sight of the police station.

Yesterday Khalid told reporters that Kugan had asked for a glass of water during interrogation and upon drinking the water, he collapsed and lost consciousness.

"A doctor from a clinic nearby who was summoned to examine the man, and later confirmed that he had died," he had said.

The state police chief also said that a thorough probe would be conducted on the matter and asked people not to speculate on the cause of death.
- Malaysiakini, 21/1/2009, Dead man's family lodges report

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