Prisons chief says man in custody died after heart attack

V Mugilarasu, 35, collapsed in his cell at Sungai Buloh prison on Thursday night.

PETALING JAYA: A man who died while in custody at Sungai Buloh Prison over drug offences had succumbed to a heart attack, says the director-general of prisons, Zulkifli Omar.

He told FMT that the conclusion was based on the results of a post-mortem examination of V Mugilarasu, 35, who collapsed in his prison cell on Thursday night after complaining of chest pains

His family claimed that they were not immediately notified of his death, while his elder brother, Karunakaran Pillai, 40, told New Straits Times he suspected foul play.

Karunakaran said he had noticed bruises on the face, swellings on the arms, and bloodstains in his brother’s mouth.

Zulkifli did not directly respond to the family’s allegations but said: “The Malaysian Prison Department constantly ensures that all prisoners are treated humanely and according to the guidelines.”

Yesterday, the Bar Council called for an independent external organisation to investigate deaths in custody following this case.

M Ramachelvam, chairman of the council’s task force on the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, said the organisation should be specifically mandated to investigate deaths in police lockups, prisons or immigration detention centres.

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