JUSTICE FOR MUGILARASU
JUSTICE FOR MUGILARASU
A man remanded for a drug offence died while being held at the Sungai Buloh Prison on Thursday night.
V. Mugilarasu, 35, is said to have collapsed in his prison cell after complaining of chest pains at around 6pm. The machine operator died while being conveyed to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.
However, his family claims that they were not immediately informed of his death. They say they were only notified of the incident at 11pm.
Mugilarasu's elder brother V. Karunakaran Pillai, 40, who had a phone conversation with the victim a few hours earlier, suspects foul play in the death since the victim did not mention being unwell or sick.
Karunakaran, who identified Mugilarasu's body at the hospital mortuary this morning, said he became more suspicious over the death after claiming to have noticed bruises on the face, swellings on the arms, and bloodstains in the mouth of the remains.
He then lodged a report at the Sungai Buloh police station with lawyers Datuk A. Sheelan and John Das, who were also representing Mugilarasu over his drug case.
When contacted, Sheelan said the family suspects foul play because of the injuries they allegedly found on Mugilarasu' body, and the time discrepancy between his death and the time they were informed of it.
"My client did not suffer from medical problems or chronic diseases. His brother is convinced that Mugilarasu was fine when they spoke on the phone and had even joked about a thing or two during the call."
Sheelan said he had met with the pathologist performing the post-mortem and pointed out the injuries on his client's body.
"The pathologist also concurred on the swellings on the body, but said a further study needs to be carried out before a conclusion can be made. She has promised to be impartial with the report."
Sheelan said he will advise the family on the next course of action – whether to request an inquest or a second post mortem.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) said that the police did not inform Mugilarasu's family about his death in a prompt manner.
Edict also urged Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin to address the issue of deaths in police custody.
Mugilarasu had been in remand since March, awaiting a full trial.
Meanwhile, in a reply to an online portal, Selangor police chief Datuk Noor Azam Jamaludin said Mugilarasu's body must undergo Covid-19 testing. He also said the death took place in a prison and not a police lock-up.
"It is a new standard operating procedure which stipulates that bodies will have to undergo Covid-19 testing before anyone is allowed to see the body, or a post-mortem is conducted. This is a health ministry protocol that must be adhered to."
Justice for Mugilarasu has to be made
Copied from the nst.com.my