01 February, 2010

Another Indian died under police custody !

A sawmill worker was found dead in the Jempol police lock-up in Negeri Sembilan, prompting politicians from both sides of the divide to again cry foul over frequent deaths of police detainees.

P Babu, 28, was found dead in the Jempol police lock-up at about 4am. His body was brought to the Seri Jempol hospital two hours later. Family members are waiting for an autopsy report.

Babu, an orphan who was raised by his uncle, has been under remand since Jan 24 after he surrendered himself to the police over a robbery case.

Negeri Sembilan executive council member VS Mogan said initial police reports suggests Babu hanged himself to death and expressed the state government's concern.

Mogan, who visited family members at the hospital earlier, said police are still in the dark over how this could have happened.

"I believe there will be a public outcry following the mysterious circumstances of Babu's death and this is certainly not good for the police.

"Senior police officers in the state should also explain how this could happen," he said.

The mysterious circumstances of Babu's death has also prompted MIC Jempol Youth chief M Palani to lodge a police report.

"It is rather unfortunate that another death has happened in the lock-up and I think the public wants answers," he said.

'Why always Indians?'

On the opposition front, PKR Negeri Sembilan deputy chief M Ravi has condemned the police over the incident and questioned why most victims of custodial deaths were of Indian descent.

"I hope the police Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan would investigate how custodial deaths happen and why it is more prevalent among the Indian suspects. He has to explain,” he said.

Should the family members be dissatisfied with the autopsy report, Ravi said he would assist them in seeking an independent autopsy to determine the cause of death.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. I am puzzled with Babu's death, as he had surrendered himself to the police, and yet this happens," he said, adding PKR may hold a demonstration over the matter.

He added family members had indicated that Babu showed no signs of depression prior to his surrender.

In January 2008, a police constable was charged with causing hurt to extract a confession from A Kugan, 22, who died under police custody in Subang Jaya.

In July, P Gunasegaran, 31, was found dead in the Sentul police station. An inquest is currently underway.

- Malaysiakini

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