Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coffins of brothers killed in police shootout paraded

By FMT staff

TAIPING: Similar to a scene in Palestine, scores of people paraded the coffins of two brothers killed in a shootout with the police along the streets of Taiping on Saturday.
Led by Human Rights Party leader P Uthayakumar, the crowd demanded that a royal commission of inquiry be set up to probe the matter.

Over the years, Uthayakumar, who is also the force behind Hindraf, has accused the police of carrying out summary executions of suspected criminals, especially Indian Malaysians.

In the latest shootout which happened last Thursday, R Logeswaran, 38, and his younger brother Satchithananthan, 25, were blamed for a spate of armed robberies.

The funeral procession started from their house at around 2pm, where the hearses were led by a mall lorry fitted with a banner which read 'Police bunuh masyarakat India' and 'We want royal commission into the shoot to kill policy'.

According to Uthayakumar, some 200 people comprising friends, family and the public, took part in the procession.

“We wanted to take the coffins to the Taiping district police headquarters, but the police blocked us twice. After we passed through the first blockade, they parked police vehicles to prevent us from pressing on.

“I gave them two minutes to clear the vehicles. When they did not, we carried the conffins by hand. The police then cordonned off the road leading to the headquarters, but we managed to make our point,” he told FMT.

One of them was shot in the ribs

Uthayakumar said he also became embroiled in a heated argument with the police officers, when they attemped to stop the procession.

“I told the police officers that their IGP (inspector-general of police) is a fool, this is because with 100,000 men and women at his disposal, he failed to arrest two suspects,” he added.

Uthayakumar also claimed that there were two eyewitness who reportedly told him that the brothers were 'executed'.

“They said the brothers' car was sandwiched by two unmarked cars. Following this, several plainclothes policemen alighted and opened fire.

“When we examined the bodies, we found that one of them was hit in the ribs. This indicates that he had raised his hands to surrender, but was still shot,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, Uthayakumar said he will send a letter to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to table an emergency motion on the police's 'shoot-to-kill' policy in Parliament.

Last week, HRP had sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein demanding that a royal commission of inquiry be set up.