KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) announced today it has formed a special task force to investigate the death of S. Bala Murugan, 44, while under detention at the North Klang police headquarters.
EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Sam said the team will scrutinise the North Klang IPD for potential misconduct or mishandling of the detainee.
“The team will see what is stated in the law and standard operating procedures (SOP) in the handling and managing of detainees,” he said in a statement.
He promised the investigation will be conducted transparently and without prejudice or being partial to anyone.
Yaacob said EAIC views the latest case seriously especially after the death of Soh Kai Chiok on January 18 at the Bera police headquarters in Pahang, which is also under investigation for potential misconduct.
The 49-year-old alleged banana thief reportedly died from inflammation of the intestine while under the Bera police custody.
Bala was reported to have died at the North Klang police headquarters on Wednesday, two days after his arrest with two other people, one of who was on a police wanted list.
His lawyer claimed that the magistrate had ordered for Bala to be freed to receive medical attention after he was seen bleeding from the mouth when he was taken to the Klang Court on Tuesday for a remand application.
According to news report, the magistrate ordered Bala’s release, but it was not followed through by the police.
Prior to this, in 2013, the EAIC found police misconduct in the case of N. Dharmendran, 32, who died in detention.
According to the EAIC report, four policemen in charge of questioning Dharmendran had beaten up the victim, causing massive bleeding from blunt force trauma leading to his death. Evidence showed he even had staple wounds to his ears.
The EAIC found the police later fabricated evidence to cover up the violent interrogation and recommended disciplinary action.
The policemen were charged but acquitted at the High Court last year.
However, the victim’s widow won a separate civil lawsuit to claim damages for Dharmendran’s death from the policemen.