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Monday, December 31, 2012

Gobind: Show CCTV tapes in Nagarajan's death

(Malaysiakini) Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been urged to produce the CCTV recordings of the Dang Wangi police headquarters lock-up following the sudden death of odd-job worker K Nagarajan while in police custody.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said last month, Hishammuddin's deputy Abu Seman Yusof reported that all police stations are now fully equipped with the cameras.

This came about when the deputy minister was responding to questions over measures taken by the government to reduce incidents at police stations after an Indonesian woman was raped at the Butterworth police station.

Gobind, in a statement, said that in death custody cases like Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad, (while being detained under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) and A Kugan had seen lengthy inquiries and public discontent over efforts taken to determine what actually took place.

Following Nagarajan's sudden death, Gobind said now is probably the best time for the Home Minister to produce the recordings in the lock-up.

“If the police have done nothing wrong, then clear them immediately. If the evidence shows otherwise, then those responsible should be charged without any further delay,” the Puchong MP said.

It was reported yesterday that Nagarajan, who was arrested for alleged drug-related offence, died under mysterious circumstances when he fell in the lock-up, leading to family members to cry foul and seeking answers.

He was picked up on Dec 21, and died last Monday before his scheduled court appearance. Nagarajan's uncle, M Krishna Murthie, had said the family was unable to accept the police’s version of events, as there were also mysterious wounds - a deep gash above the left eye, a coin-sized bruise above the right eyebrow and a wound on the right leg.

“There were no explanations on how Nagarajan could have sustained those wounds,” said Krishna Murthie.

Purpose of camera

Gobind said that while the family of the deceased are clamouring for answers, they are finding it difficult to find out the actual reasons behind their deaths.

“The purpose of the camera is to deal with problems like these. Apart from reducing opportunities on part of officers to abuse detainees in police stations, it also serves the all-equally important purpose of capturing events on tape so as to reveal the actual events which led to the deaths.

“We have criticised the police so many times over incidents like these. We have demanded measures be taken to ensure incidents like these stop. We have had the Royal Commission of Enquiry making recommendations for change. We have demanded that cameras be put up so as to ensure that all cases involving assault and deaths in custody are made easier to solve with video recordings.”

Hence, he said, now is the opportune time for the Home Minister to produce the evidence.

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