PETALING JAYA: The family of the late R Kumar Rajah lodged a police report at the Dang Wangi police station against the Kajang Prison authorities for criminal medical negligence.

R Kumar Rajah, 27, had complained of severe stomach pain for three days and was only given pain killers. He died on Oct 29 in his prision cell.

PKR’s S Jayathas, who accompanied M Sooriakandhi, Kumar Rajah’s mother to the police station, said if Kumar had been brought to the hospital sooner, he would have survived.

“Who is going to take care of the mother? She is 51 and lives alone. Her son can’t take care of her now that he’s gone,” he said.

Sooriakandhi said that it was unbecoming of the doctor who attended to her son, to have told him to go ahead and die.

“He was sick for three days, why didn’t anyone inform me? If they could not give him the proper treatment, the least they could have done was to tell me about his sickness,” she said.

No response from Kajang Police

G Sivamalar of Lawyers for Liberty, who was also with Sooriakandhi, said there is no evidence that Kumar was HIV positive as claimed by authorities as the post morten results are not out.

“Based on Prison Rules, the officer in charge has to check on inmates at least once a day. If he had really done that, he would have sent Kumar to the hospital after witnessing his agony.”

Sivamalar added that Rule 36 states that the officer in charge has to report to the doctor in attendence of any sickness experienced by prisoners without delay.

“Since the prison authorities claim that Kumar was HIV positive, then they should have been more careful with him since he was vulnerable.

“Rule 37 also states that the officer in charge has to inform the family of the particular inmate immediately if he or she experiences extreme pain and if death had occurred.

“The prison authorities did not inform the victim’s mother of his illness and his death was only conveyed to her 24 hours later.

“If they had followed the rules strictly, then this would not have happened,” she said.

Sivamalar said the report was lodged at the Dang Wangi police station because there has not been any response from the Kajang police over a report against the Kajang Hospital.

Sivamalar said they want justice for the victim’s mother. They want the prison authorities to be held responsible and also want the home minister to answer to this issue.

“We are coming forward because we do not want another case of its kind. Currently, we are waiting for the post mortem results. We will see that the mother gets justice,” she said.

Kumar was serving a sentence for motorcycle theft and was to be released early next year.

Alyaa Azhar | November 21, 2012

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