Custodial deaths has been the norm in Malaysia for a long time, and the authorities handle it lightly. Even the so-called protectors of our homeland, particularly political parties, seem to turn an eye away from such intense and severe matters of public concern.
Here we are again with a new detention-related death case, this time around we hear of Vinaiyagar K Thinpathy, who died in police custody on Monday (13th September). The 49-year-old lorry driver was detained at the Kuala Langat police headquarters (IPD) on 8th September.
On Monday, the lorry driver did not show up in court for his second hearing at the Telok Datuk magistrate’s court. His wife, Navaneetham Nagappan was very suspicious of the incident which took place and straight headed to the police station where her husband was detained to find out what the issue was about. That’s when she was notified of her husband’s death in the wee hours of the morning.
How many more people have to die in police custody until the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is implemented?
The Malaysian Insight journalist, Elill has taken to his social media platform in regards over the recent death of another individual in police custody.
Wife of lorry driver Vinaiyagar,49 is seeking for answers over her husband’s death in Kuala Langat District Police HQ on Monday
🔴 Wife alleged she saw swellings all over her husband’s body
🔴 A fellow detainee said Vinaiyagar was screaming for help
🔴 The couple has 5 kids pic.twitter.com/hdkW0d2pmr
— Elill (@Elill_E) September 16, 2021
According to an autopsy conducted yesterday at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), Vinaiyagar tested positive for COVID-19, and succumbed to death due to a ruptured ulcer in his stomach. However, his wife claimed that she noticed sores all over her husband’s body after being permitted to see him before the autopsy.
Free Malaysia Today reported that the state’s CID chief, Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said he will look into the case as sudden death. In addition, he will be investigating this case based on three particular components, namely duty of care, foul play, and SOP compliance.
Detaining someone to help with an investigation does not give the police the authority to mistreat him or her in any way. It makes no difference whether or not the detainee is connected to the crime under investigation.
If police are allowed to abuse detainees to elicit confessions, few detainees, including those who are innocent of the crime under investigation, would survive.
Team Varnam extends our deepest condolences to the family and the children who have lost their father.