Monday, June 3, 2013

Deaths involving Indians in police custody have become serious, says Palanivel

Deaths involving Indians in police custody have become a serious issue in our country said MIC president Datuk Seri G Palanivel.

“We are not aware of the number of Malays, Chinese or others who die in police custody but on an average there are about 12 Indian deaths in police custody annually,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Palanivel said such traumatic deaths upset the Indian community in this country.

“A neutral body should be set up to look after detainees in police custody,” he said when commenting on the death of a 43-year-old inmate at the Tampin police lock-up on Saturday.

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Negri Sembilan police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Osman Salleh said a coroner and a pathologist had examined the remains of P. Karuna Nithi and both have said there were no bruises or external injuries on the deceased to suggest abuse.

Palanivel said all persons who are detained should not be locked up in local police stations but should be immediately transferred to the respective state police headquarters.

“It does not matter why they were detained but they should be given the freedom to be questioned and interrogated and not abused.

“Lawyers should be engaged by the Government to look after them and visit them at lock ups”, he said.

Palanivel said custody deaths among Indians are becoming very serious and the Government must seriously address this problem.

“Let the police be fair and impartial and take their time during investigations. “Detainees should be treated fairly and the form of punishment should be determined by the courts and not police,” he said.

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