Friday, May 27, 2011

‘Cops beat me, told me to die’

A 20-year-old student claims that he was assaulted and verbally berated after knocking into a policeman's motorcycle.

PETALING JAYA: “The policemen kept beating me and called me ‘keling’. They also shouted at me, saying I should just die so that they can close the case.”

A 20-year-old student was allegedly beaten up and verbally berated when he knocked into a policeman’s motorcycle at a roadblock in Rembau, Negri Sembilan, during the wee hours of the morning.

After the Monday incident, S Ganesan was also warned against lodging a complaint before he was put into an ambulance and sent to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital.

However, Ganesan summed up the courage to lodge a report with the Chembong police station on the same day.

In the report, he stated: “I want the authorities to take action against the errant policemen. I don’t understand why they treated me like an animal although I repeatedly apologised for the accident.”

Ganesan said that he fell to the ground when his motorcyle collided with the policeman’s bike, and an officer identified only as Hisham allegedly started raining blows on him.

“Soon, several other officers joined him to beat me up,” he added.

Ganesan claimed that he was kicked in his stomach, arms and back. The policemen, who also used a
helmet to assault him, then allegedly tore his shirt, threw him into a drain and stomped on him.

Apart from the beating, the student claimed that the policemen had also hurled racial insults, among others, calling him “keling” (a derogatory term used on Indians).

“They also said I should just die so that they can close the case,” he alleged.

Despite several attempts, FMT failed to reach Negeri Sembilan CID chief ACP Hamdan Majid for comments.

‘Put an end to this now’

Commenting on the matter, Indian-based NGO Aastivaram Foundation said it was high time for the government to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

“The commission is long overdue. Currently, the police themselves investigate cases of police abuse and I believe they tend to cover up such cases,” said its vice-president R Sri Sanjeevan.

Citing the example of a lorry driver’s assistant in Bahau being allegedly threatened and beaten by policemen, he said the police had not been able to provide any updates to the victim to date.

On April 13, S Devan was handcuffed and beaten by several plainclothes individuals claiming to be policemen after they failed to locate his friend, known as Thiagu.

One of them had allegedly shoved a gun into Devan’s mouth.

Sanjeevan called upon Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar to put an immediate end to such brutality.

“If left unchecked, it may bring the downfall of the (Barisan Nasional) government,” he warned.