Probe cops hired to murder, abduct allegation, IGP urged

Moganambal Govindasamy (right) was allegedly with her husband, Janarthanan Vijayaratnam (left), when he was shot dead by police on Saturday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) today urged Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador to investigate an allegation that policemen were being hired to carry out murders and abductions.

CAGED said in a statement today that Govindasamy, the father of Moganambal, who is missing after three men were shot dead by police in Rawang on Sept 14, had made some serious allegations against some members of the police force.

It said the IGP should, therefore, question Govindasamy and “vigorously pursue all leads to confirm or deny the public’s suspicions that there are police for hire to conduct abductions and murders in Malaysia”.

According to lawyer R Sivahnanthan, who is representing Moganambal’s family, she was with the three men that day.

He said police had informed the family that a fourth individual had been shot in the leg during the incident. But Selangor police denied she was in the car with the three men who died in the “shootout” with the police.

CAGED said: “Conflicting testimony by police officers during the Suhakam Inquiry (into missing pastor Raymond Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat) indicating a botched cover-up, facts revealed in 2016 about the Sivaguru affair and the 2018 reference to public confidence when disbanding STING, makes Govindasamy’s allegations worthy of serious investigation.

“The badly tarnished name of the police must be recovered.”

CAGED said the alleged abductions by the Special Branch, Bukit Aman, of Koh and Amri were botched.

“Because they were botched, the public came to know of them. Because the public came to know of them, the public clamoured for appropriate police action.

“Principally because some officers refused to play along with the attempts of other officers to falsify evidence, an inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Suhakam, concluded that the abductions of Amri and Raymond were the work of the police – amounting to an ‘enforced disappearance’.”

CAGED said Suhakam’s terms of reference were confined to specific persons, namely Amri, Raymond, Joshua and Ruth. Therefore, Suhakam did not consider other disappearances in Malaysia, including abductions of Turkish nationals and of citizens said to be criminal elements.

One of the names which appears in a list CAGED has compiled of suspected enforced disappearances is “Sivaguru Arumugam.”

Sivaguru, it said, was reported to have been abducted in Kelantan on Feb 13, 2016, by members of the narcotics division of the police, Bukit Aman, using black Toyota Hiluxes – “the same type of vehicles used exactly one year later to abduct Raymond Koh”.

Sivaguru’s name cropped up again last week, also in relation to the alleged abductions of three men and one woman in Serdang, Selangor.

CAGED said the day after they were reported missing, the three men were shot dead by the police in Rawang, allegedly after a car chase. The woman, Moganambal, is still missing.

The police have denied the accusations concerning her and the police made by her father, Govindasamy.

“In a 14-minute video, in Tamil, Govindasamy alleges that: (1) the police shot her as she escaped the Rawang fracas, and (2) the police later found her using tracker dogs.

“Govindasamy also mentions Sivaguru. He alleges that: (1) his son Thava, one of the persons shot dead, has been, for long, a person of interest to Sivaguru, (2) the shootings were masterminded by Sivaguru, (3) Sivaguru’s supposed abduction in 2016 was a staged drama, executed by members of the police force, to enable Sivaguru to live freely in Thailand.

“Govindasamy alleges that Sivaguru is abetted by an ‘Inspector Thiru’ and another inspector in Bukit Aman police headquarters. He further alleges that some policemen are in fact gangsters – he insinuates that they are in the gangs known as ‘08,’ ‘36’ and ‘21’.

“Govindasamy says Thava was recovering from a severe injury which made one of his arms practically unusable. He alleges that the police surveilled Thava, then abducted and killed him. He says he expects Sivaguru, Thiru and others to come after him because of what he has exposed.”

CAGED said in disbanding the police Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING) in October 2018, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said this was done in order for “the public to retain their confidence and trust in the police force”.