GUA MUSANG, June 10 — The police operation to locate the graves of 12 Orang Asli from the Batek tribe who were said to have died of pneumonia and buried in the customary way in the jungle at Kampung Kuala Koh here over the past month, will begin tomorrow.
Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the operation would involve 30 members of the General Operation Force and policemen from Gua Musang District Police headquarters (IPD).
He said several Orang Asli headmen would also join in the operation as they were more well-versed in all aspects of the jungle.
Once located, he said the bodies of the Orang Asli would be exhumed and sent to the Gua Musang Hospital for autopsy to ascertain the actual cause of their death.
“As long as the bodies remain unfound, we will not be able to learn the cause of their deaths,” he told reporters at the Gua Musang IPD here today.
He said the police have yet to be able to confirm the death of the 12 Orang Asli.
“So far, only two deaths of Orang Asli were reported to the police after a post mortem was carried out on the bodies. The (story about the) death of 12 others, however, was told by certain quarters,” he explained.
Earlier, Acryl Sani took a helicopter ride to get an aerial view of Kampung Kuala Koh and the river alleged to have been contaminated by mining activity and caused that ‘fatal viral infections’ among the Orang Asli community.
He said the police would also investigate the allegation that the river, which is the main source of water for the Orang Asli community, was highly contaminated.
“If the allegation is true, we will carry out further investigation to enable further action,” he added. — Bernama