Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Was it shootout or execution in Penang, deputy minister questions police

Deputy Minister P. Waythamoorthy has raised questions about the shooting of five Indian gangsters in Penang. He believes the police executed them.

His comments are likely to put pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was criticised heavily by Umno politicians for appointing Waythamoorthy to the administration.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan did so too, saying it would further weaken Indian support for the government.

Waythamoorthy, who is also Hindraf chairperson, said that in the past few years many Indian youths had been shot dead by police who were not able to justify the killings.

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The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department acknowledged that the crime situation in Malaysia was serious and police were responsible for keeping the peace.

"However, shooting suspects dead is not the way to go about maintaining internal security and public order," Waythamoorthy said, calling for an inquest into the deaths of the five youths.

"The Attorney-General should call for an inquest immediately while the evidence is still fresh. The inquest would also dispel the mistrust surrounding the police on probing their own alleged misconduct," he said.

In questioning the way the five were killed in the shootout, Waythamoorthy said, "Photos of their injuries suggest that the five suspected Gang 04 members had been shot at point-blank range.

"Nobody in their right frame of mind would believe that the five had been killed in a shootout if they saw the photographs.

"It has been a standard answer of the police that they were forced to defend themselves after being shot at.

"But the injuries on the suspects don't fit the description of a shootout. They give the impression that they had been shot at point-blank range."

Waythamoorthy also expressed his bafflement that the nation's top cop concluded that the five men had been involved in 10 murders and two attempted murder cases.

Police recovered three weapons from the suspects and several rounds of ammunition after the shootout.

"How were the ballistics tests carried out so fast? Even if it was possible, how could the firearms be linked to 10 previous murder cases so quickly?" Waythamoorthy wondered.

He said the public was no longer easily misled by the standard answers given by the police every time they killed criminals.

Waythamoorthy said if it was true that police had been observing the five suspects for some time, there was no reason why they couldn't have been arrested instead of being shot dead.

The suspects' families have complained about their deaths and alleged that they had been shot like “animals”, according to Malaysiakini. – August 20, 2013.

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