Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Put teen killer cops behind bars, not desks'

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Party wants the policemen involved in the shooting of a 15-year-old teenager to be accorded the same treatment as other suspects in a murder probe.

“They should be arrested and remanded pending investigation,” said HRP pro-tem secretary-general P Uthayakumar.

He was responding to Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar's statement that the policemen had been reassigned to desk duties.

“They killed a young boy, these policemen should be in jail,” he told FMT, adding that such action would serve as a deterrent for other policemen."

Uthayakumar, who has consistenly accused the police of being trigger-happy, said: “It must be drilled into their heads that the police are not above the law.”

“If it was you or me, we would be in jail by now. Why the special privilege for them?” he asked, expressing regret that a young boy's life was needlessly lost.

Citing the Criminal Procedure Code, Uthayakumar, who is a lawyer, stressed that the law is clear on the discharging of firearms by policemen.

“Although this is probably a case of an overzealous policeman firing his weapon, stern action however would put a full stop to this,” he said.

PAS MP: Don't cover up

Earlier, PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad also warned the police not to "cover up" the incident.

In view of this, he urged the police to ensure the safety of the witness. “There should not be any attempts to change his statement,” he told a press conference.

Khalid claimed that the police had a tendency to sweep such cases under the carpet.

According to the police report made by the witness, he and the victim identified as Aminul Rashid Amzah were returning from a restaurant in Section 7, Shah Alam, yesterday.

The witness claimed that they overtook a police vehicle, which later chased their car, and it was during the pursuit that the cops had allegedly opened fire, forcing them to come to a halt.

The report said that when the witness alighted from the car to surrender, he was kicked and punched by the policemen.

However, the witness managed to flee the scene and returned home.

Police's version different

Meanwhile, the police's version of the incident was different.

Khalid was reported as saying that his men had chased the Proton Iswara driven by the deceased after suspecting something was amiss.

He claimed that instead of slowing down, the teenager sped on, leading the police to shoot the tyres.

When the car skidded to a halt, Khalid said one of the suspects escaped, while the driver reversed the vehicle attempting to ram into the policemen, who were joined by others from a different patrol unit.

“Surprised by the suspect's action, a police officer fired in self-defence,” he said, claiming that the police discovered a machete in the car later.

Aminul died on the way to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.

Khalid also said the four police personnel have been transferred to desk jobs pending an investigation under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

Meanwhile, the PAS MP said he was told that Aminul was a good student who was active in sports.