9 YEARS WAITING FOR JUSTICE – Death In custody Ulaganathan
On 12 Mei 2003, a young healthy teenager, Ulaganathan a/l Muniandy, aged 19, was picked up by cops under the Penal Code Section 302 and was later charged under the Emergency Ordinance (EO). He was detained at the Kajang Police Station since 12 May 2003 and he died under police custody on the 21 July 2003.
The family was told that he died because of asma. Later a fellow inmate said how Ulaganathan was tied to the bar, hit several times in the stomach until he lost conscious. He was then rushed to the hospital.
The police was actually looking for some of his friends who are wanted for a murder investigation. His friends fled but Ulaganathan became the scapegoat! He was not involved. He did not know anything about the murder but he was tortured to death by the cops!
According to the Kajang hospital, the cause of death “UNDETERMINED”.
SUARAM wrote for an inquest on the 25 July 2003, but it was never called. With the help Bar Council Human rights committee, SUARAM with the family proceeded with a civil suit on the 2006.
Suddenly on October 2007, Kajang Magistrate called for an inquest. This is after 4 years of waiting!
WHY DOES IT TAKE SUCH A LONG TIME FOR AN INQUEST TO BE HELD?
Result of the inquest was an OPEN VERDICT (a decision which means it cannot ascertain the cause of death) was given on 2011.
On the civil suit filed, the DPP did not entered defense, hence the High Court, on the 29 July 2008 awarded damages to the family. The court also declared:
- Ulaganathan’s death was caused by the PDRM.
- Ulaganathan’s death was caused by their breach of statutory duty, recklessness and gross and wanton negligence.
The government filed an appeal on the civil suit, which later withdraws their appeal.
Ulaganathan was the sole male bread winner for the family. He has no track record of criminal offences. The death of Ulaganathan caused the family to face major monetary problems to the extend the family had to be chased out from their rental house on November 2005.
Almost a decade of waiting for the family of victim Ulaganathan a/l Muniandy to get justice. This is one of the cases which came to known by public and clearly showed the negligence of cops in handling individuals in police custody.
NOW THE FAMILY IS APPLYING FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGES.
Detail as below:
Date: 11 Jun 2012 (Monday)
Time: 9 am
Place: High Court, Jalan Duta
How long now the family has to wait for the assessment on the damages?
How much is the value of a human life? We call upon all NGO’s to join us to show solidarity to the family of Ulaganathan.