Dang Wangi Police has more blood to be cleaned

Dang Wangi Police has more blood to be cleaned
Press Statement: 2 January 2013

2012 ends with another death in custody of K. Nagarajan, 32 years old odd job worker. The police claimed that the deceased died from a fall after on the third day in the police station.

SUARAM feels annoyed and angered with the unstoppable deaths in police custody. Furthermore, Nagarajan died at the infamous Dang Wangi Police Station on the 24 Dec 2012. The Dang Wangi police station has already has bloods in their hands and to add another to the record, K. Nagarajan was the next victim.

Below is SUARAM’s notified record of death in custody at Dang Wangi police station alone:

Date of death Name Age
10 September 2012 Chandran Perumalu 47
29 November 2012 Wong Tip Ping 51

SUARAM questions the credibility and accountability of the Officer in Charge of the Police District (OCPD) Zainuddin Ahmad. How could he allow the continuation of suspects die while under his supervision? He should step down if he is incapable and unfit on handling the rising death in custodial in his office. Three deaths have occurred after ACP Zainuddin took over the post from ACP Mohamad Zulkarnain Abd Rahman last August 2012.

According to the Lockup Rules 1958, police officer on duty has the responsibility to ensure the health of detainees and the conditions of lockup in the station. The said officer is also required to record in details every action and tasks performed on a daily basis. Any officer in charge will be under the supervision of the OCPD. The failure of the rank in file officer is definitely the failure of the supervisor as well.

SUARAM reiterates that under CHAPTER XXXII INQUIRIES OF DEATH of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) custodial deaths may be investigated by inquiries. The CPC also clearly states the role of the OCPD in investigating the deaths and providing the investigation reports to the magistrate for further action. So if this does not see any progress, whom do we hold accountable for the deaths in custody?

For as long as the requirement for inquiry is not mandatory in contrast to the recommendations for IPCMC in 2005 by the Royal Commission on Police and SUHAKAM, all cries by the civil society and the rakyat will fall on deaf ears.

SUARAM condemns the police for causing the deaths and deems the police’s actions unconstitutional. Every individual’s right to life is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. Article 5 provides that “…No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law…”. Similarly, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “…Everyone has the right to life, to be free and to feel safe…”

SUARAM demands that justice be made to the late Nagarajan by an independent inquiry and strongly urge the government to set up the long awaited IPCMC and initiate constructive reforms within the police force to put an end to future deaths in custody.

From the desk of Right to Justice,

R.Thevarajan

Posted in Press Statements, Right To Justice (Updates)