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Another death in custody! Now who’s responsible?

June 4, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Thevarajan R, via e-mail

Suaram expresses regret and disappointment at the latest death in custody involving Isparan Subramaniam, 37, on May 29, 2012. Isparan was pronounced dead at about 10.30am at Sungai Siput Utara Police Station’s lock-up.

The post mortem result from Ipoh Hospital indicates that Isparan died of “Perforated Peptic Ulcer with Peritonitis”. Isparan was a suspected drug addict and was arrested and detained at Sungai Siput lock-up before his premature demise.

He is survived by his wife and three children. Isparan’s family members are in grief and are being haunted by many unanswered questions.

The deceased had never had any gastreous problems and/or anything relating to gastreous problems prior to the arrest. How could he have gotten “Perforated Peptic Ulcer with Peritonitis” while under custody?

If the cause of death according to the post mortem is true, which the family members vehemently deny, why was not Isparan referred to the hospital immediately?

Suaram questions and will continue to question the gross negligence by the Officer-in-Charge’s acts and/or omissions in failing in his duty to ensure detainees are always safe and in good health.

We demand that the Officer-in-Charge produce his daily Journal immediately for scrutiny, failing which, the allegation of tampering with evidence by the Officer-in-Charge is inevitable.

It is in the best interest of the public that the Perak Chief Police answers these questions. Otherwise, the public will hold the Officer-in-Charge and/or police liable for negligence and as result caused Isparan’s death.

Suaram urges the government to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to determine why instead of how Isparan died in police custody.

Suaram will continue to push for the formation of Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to prevent future deaths in police custody.

The writer is Right to Justice Coordinator of Suaram


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