Inquest into Batu Arang shootout a waste of time, says lawyer

PETALING JAYA: The lawyer representing the families of the three men killed in the recent Batu Arang shootout has dismissed Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador’s order for an inquest into the shooting, calling it an “eyewash”.

P Uthayakumar told FMT there had been no inquest so far that had led to the prosecution of any policeman for deaths caused.

“I’ve attended some inquests. The whole thing, I can feel, I can sense, I know as an experienced lawyer, is a cover-up for the police.

“As for the attorney-general, there’s a police report against the police for murder. You charge these Special Action Unit (UTK) members who killed these people. Only then will this whole thing stop,” he said.

Lawyer P Uthayakumar.

Uthayakumar then urged the authorities to give him the powers of a “special counsel”, saying he will then produce the evidence against the policemen involved.

“Like Robert Mueller in the US; like Sulaiman Abdullah or Gopal Sri Ram, give me a fiat and I will do the job. I will do it,” he said.

“Give me the power to investigate. I will produce the evidence.”

Police said a shootout occurred on Sept 14 when a police patrol ordered a car carrying three men – Sri Lankan national Janarthanan Vijayaratnam, his brother-in-law Thavaselvan and Maghendran Santhirasegaran – to pull over at Bandar Country Homes.

According to police, the men, however, refused to comply with the police order to pull over.

A 7km chase ensued and police were fired upon. Police returned fire and the three men were killed.

Relatives claim Moganambal Govindasamy was with her husband, Janarthanan Vijayaratnam, when he was shot dead by police on Saturday. Police have denied this.

Police said Thavaselvan and Maghendran were wanted members of the 08 gang in Rawang, while Janarthanan had overstayed his visa.

Relatives of the men shot dead have asked police to publish footage from their dashboard cameras on the police patrol car to set the record straight as to what happened.

Relatives claim Janarthanan’s wife, Moganambal Govindasamy, was missing after the shooting. However, Selangor police chief Noor Azam Jamaluddin said there was no woman in the car.