Cop denies using force on 3 detainees

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PUTRAJAYA: A  police officer alleged to have punched and kicked S Balamurugan and two other detainees in police custody has denied using force on any of the three.

Inspector T Mohaneswaran from the Klang Selatan district police headquarters said he had not done so.

“Those are all lies… it is untrue,” he said during the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) hearing held to determine if any police misconduct had led to Balamurugan’s death.

He was asked about allegations made by Tamilarasan Karapiah, who was arrested at the same time as Balamurugan on Feb 6 at Jalan Batu Belah, Klang. A juvenile named Ang was also arrested that day.

Tamilasan claimed that Mohaneswaran had knocked his head with a bamboo stick and hit the soles of his feet with a rubber hose. He said Mohaneswaran had also slapped Balamurugan’s face and punched his chest for 10 minutes.

Tamilasan, who was the main suspect in the trio arrested by the police, also claimed that Mohaneswaran had told him, “You are a head (gangster) outside, I am the head (gangster) inside.”

However, the officer claimed he had told Balamurugan: “Old man, what case are you involved in?”

He denied raising his voice while with the detainees, saying his voice was firm, as claimed by other  officers present at the station.

“My voice was firm, but it was not as loud as what was said by others. I was just asking.”

His testimony today also contradicted that of other officers who were at the Bandar Baru Klang police station on Feb 6 at the time he had left.

Inspector Vicknes Waran Poobalan testified yesterday that he and his four men had left the police station at around 8.10pm to 8.15pm, when Mohaneswaran had still been with the detainees.

Vicknes Waran also said the detainees had looked well and that Balamurugan could talk when he left.

However, today, Mohaneswaran said he left the police station together with Vicknes Waran and the others.

“I left the station with them,” he said.

The CCTVs at Bandar Baru Klang are dummies, the hearing was told yesterday. Due to that, there was no recording of what happened to the three detainees or the police officers.

The police officer at the front counter testified yesterday that he had not recorded the time of the officers’ entry and exit.

Mohaneswaran was showed pictures of injuries sustained by Balamurugan following a post-mortem, which showed about 20 injuries to the body, including on the chest and legs.

The police officer told the inquiry that he was not sure how Balamurugan had sustained the injuries, and denied ever punching or kicking the deceased.

“I am not sure if he had injuries before he was arrested and I am not sure how he sustained them,” he said.

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