Second autopsy shows Balamurugan beaten in police custody, lawyers say

File photo of counsel N. Surendran (left) speaking to the family of S. Balamurugan at the High Court in Shah Alam February 15, 2017. — Bernama pic
File photo of counsel N. Surendran (left) speaking to the family of S. Balamurugan at the High Court in Shah Alam February 15, 2017. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — A second autopsy on S. Balamurugan’s body confirmed he had suffered multiple beatings in police custody, which his family’s lawyers said had triggered heart failure.

N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya said that the autopsy at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) found that Balamurugan died due to a “coronary artery disease with multiple blunt force injuries”.

“The deceased suffered multiple injuries to various parts of the body including the chest, head, legs and back which triggered heart failure,” they said in a statement.

“In other words, because Balamurugan had an underlying heart condition, the beatings he received in police custody triggered heart failure,” they added.

The lawyers said that there is no longer “any doubt” as to the cause of death, and there is no need for an inquest into the death.

“In light of these findings, on behalf of the family of S. Balamurugan, we call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of all police personnel who were involved in the assault and consequent death of S. Balamurugan,” they added.

The second autopsy was carried out following an order from the Shah Alam High Court at the request of Balamurugan’s family.

“The findings were communicated by the team of pathologists to the family and lawyers yesterday evening, in the presence of the police,” the lawyers said.

Balamurugan, 44, died in police custody at the North Klang police headquarters on February 7.