Another detainee dies in police custody

Thanaseelan Muniandy, 43, was found unconscious in his cell at 1.50am Saturday at the Bukit Sentosa police station, just several hours after the police brought him to the Kuala Kubu Bharu hospital to treat his stomach pain. — AFP pic
Thanaseelan Muniandy, 43, was found unconscious in his cell at 1.50am Saturday at the Bukit Sentosa police station, just several hours after the police brought him to the Kuala Kubu Bharu hospital to treat his stomach pain. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Just two weeks after a man died at a police station in Klang, another death in custody has happened, this time in Hulu Selangor.

Thanaseelan Muniandy, 43, was found unconscious in his cell at 1.50am Saturday at the Bukit Sentosa police station, just several hours after the police brought him to the Kuala Kubu Bharu hospital to treat his stomach pain.

“When a police guard found him lying unconscious, an ambulance was called in but he was pronounced dead at the scene,” Hulu Selangor police chief Supt R. Supramaniam said when contacted.

According to Supt Supramaniam, Thanaseelan was under a court remand for burglary from February 22 to 25.

“He (Thanaseelan) has a history of gastritis and we brought him to the hospital for treatment when he complained of stomach pains. The doctors gave him medicines and we brought him back,” he said.

Supt Supramaniam said the body of the deceased has been sent to the Sungai Buloh Hospital for post-mortem.

On February 8, S. Balamurugan, 44, was found dead at the North Klang police station after he was arrested with two other men, one of whom was wanted by the police.

Despite a magistrate order to release Balamurugan, who was reportedly bleeding from the mouth when he was brought in to be remanded at the Klang court, the police allegedly defied the order and brought him back to custody where he died.

Lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya reportedly said a second autopsy by the Kuala Lumpur Hospital showed that Balamurugan had died from “coronary artery disease with multiple blunt force injuries”.

The Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) has initiated investigations into the death of Balamurugan to identify if the police had mishandled the detention procedure.

On January 18, Soh Kai Chiok, 49, reportedly died from inflammation of the intestine while under police custody in Bera after he was brought in for allegedly stealing bananas at a plantation.

The EAIC is also probing this incident.

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 from the policemen for Dharmendran’s death.

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