Despite the never ending pandemic, here we are hearing a new surge in custodial deaths.
A 25-year-old detainee has died in police custody on 21st June at Kajang prison. The detainee, Roopan Karnagaran who was detained in connection with the triple-murder at his neighbour’s house in Dengkil which happened in 2013, pronounced death at Hospital Kajang around 12pm.
After four years, the police found that Roopan is involved in the murder case and they have arrested him for further investigation. One of the first significant pieces of evidence that were found at the crime scene was Roopan’s fingerprints. Here come the forensic teams where they play a pivotal role in the investigation of serious crimes. He was later found guilty of the offences at the age of 21, which was in 2017.
On top of that, the deceased family stated that there is foul play in Roopan’s death as when they contacted the authorities on 17th June, they were not informed that he had been taken to hospital.
According to Roopan’s uncle K Sevakumar, the hospital notified the family on (June 21st) that he had tested negative for Covid-19 and would be treated with antibiotics for five days in a non-Covid ward. He also stated that Roopan had been complaining of respiratory issues for a week before being hospitalised.
The family received a call from the prison authorities by mentioning that he had tested positive for Covid-19, despite the fact that the hospital had told them he had tested negative.
Due to this, they were unable to see the condition of his body.
At the same time, a post-mortem examination on the body of Roopan has stated that the presumed custodial death victim was due to blood cloth in the leg.
According to FMT, his family’s lawyer has urged the Attorney-Chambers General for an inquest into his death (AGC).
S Arulchelvan, a member of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia central committee, said that the family had not been notified that Roopan was suffering from health complications or that he had been hospitalised. They also kept the news regarding his discharge and if he had recovered completely.
Meanwhile, the present Commissioner of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Dato Dr. Madeline Berma, said that the case will be investigated impartially by the panel.
Certainly, the sudden and unexplained death of Roopan in police custody is deeply concerning as this sums up the 12th custodial death cases this year.
The increasing number in custodial deaths especially among Indian community, literally shivers down my spine when I’m about to think of the anguish, agony, and dread they would have went through during the investigations being carried out.
Seriously, things are already out of control and if the implementation of Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is not being implemented in Malaysia, then we might face the cycle of custodial deaths continuously.
More updates to follow.
May the family and the deceased get the justice they deserve!