Tuesday, July 9, 2013

'Tampin lock-up death not our fault'

The death of a 43-year-old inmate at the Tampin lock-up on Saturday has nothing to do with police brutality.

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

“We are waiting for the final post-mortem report to see if the deceased suffered any internal injury. But as of now, the pathologist is unable to establish the cause of death,” he told reporters here. SAC Osman said the jobless man had been well taken care of when he was in the lock-up and there are CCTV recordings to prove this.

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Police detained Karuna Nithi at about 5.30pm on May 28 after his 42-year-old wife lodged a report that he had assaulted her after a quarrel at their home in Rumah Rakyat Taman Muhibbah in Gemencheh.

The deceased had also lodged a report earlier in the day admitting that he assaulted his wife as he could not take her verbal abuse.

He was taken to the Tampin magistrate’s court the following morning where the magistrate issued a four-day remand order.

On May 31, he was charged under Section 324 of the Penal Code with causing hurt and was later offered a RM4,000 bail but as his family could not raise the amount, he was taken back to the lock-up pending a re-mention.

SAC Osman said a policeman found Karuna Nithi unconscious in his cell when he went to check on him at about 6pm on Saturday.

“He was certified dead at about 10.30pm,” SAC Osman said.

He said if the suspect had been assaulted by cops while in lock-up, he could have reported it to the authorities when he was brought to court to be remanded and later when he was charged.

“His brother had also been visiting him while he was in the lock-up and not once did he claim that he was assaulted,” he said, adding that he was also told that Karuna Nithi had refused to eat on certain occasions while under custody.

To a claim by the victim’s brother P. Eelam, 40, that the deceased had suspicious looking injuries on his arm and upper back, SAC Osman said the coroner and pathologist should have noted this in their reports.

“I wish to remind the people not to use the social media to accuse the police of any wrongdoing,” he said.

Meawnhile, MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam has called for police investigations into N. Dhamendran’s death to be done swiftly and transparently.

Dhamendran, 32, died on May 21 while under remand at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters. A hospital autopsy report on Dhamendran said he had died as a result of multiple beatings.

“Although we have faith that the police will do what is necessary, it needs to be done quickly, openly and transparently,” he said.

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