Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waytha hits out at cops for arresting mourners

Waytha hits out at cops for arresting mourners
Jan 28, 09 4:01pm

The police have been lambasted for arresting five people at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre before the start of Kugan Ananthan's funeral procession today.Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy said the
arrests revealed police suppression of the people's right to attend public gatherings."The actions of the police clearly show that they behave in a manner above the constitution," he said in a statemen..

Petaling Jaya police chief Arjunaidi Mohamed said the five were arrested while people were gathering to take part in the funeral procession earlier today.He added that three men - including Hindraf coordinator RS Thanendran - were arrested for wearing the Hindraf T-shirt. The government had banned the movement last October.The other two were arrested for attempting to break a police cordon to enter the UMMC mortuary.

Responding to this, Waythamoorthy said that the police action in arresting the five was uncalled for.

'Arrest the cops involved'
It also appeared that the police were being unprofessional in handling this matter, he said, pointing out to the fact that no action has been taken against the 11 police personnel under probe for Kugan's death."The (alleged) murderers of Kugan are let loose on a light desk job," he said.He added that in any normal circumstances, murder suspects would be immediately arrested and a maximum remand order obtained.
This, he said, was usually done to facilitate investigations and to prevent suspects from tampering with evidence and hampering police investigations."However in the Kugan case the police suspects are given a desk job."And the police, the attorney-general and our Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar urge Malaysians to have faith in the system and let the cause of justice prevail," he said.

Waythamoorthy said the police should be arresting those directly involved in the death of Kugan and not those who had come to take part in his funeral procession.Kugan was buried today after his funeral was held back for more than a week following his death on Jan 20.

Waiting for AG's decision
His family had insisted on a second post-mortem to ascertain the cause of his death. The first post-mortem done at the Serdang Hospital stated that he had died as a result of fluid in his lungs.The second post-mortem was done at the UMMC on Sunday. His body was taken in a procession from the hospital to a Hindu cemetery in Puchong this afternoon. More than 400 people took part.Kugan, who was detained on Jan 15 at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya on suspicion of being involved in the theft of luxury cars in Sungai Chua, Kajang, died while being questioned five days later.

The police have questioned 11 police personnel on their alleged role in Kugan's death, which has been classified as murder by the Attorney General.The AG is expected to make a decision soon if there will be prosecution of any of the police personnel involved.It was reported that the 11 have been transferred to desk duty at the state police headquarters.