KUALA LUMPUR: His remains were covered in bruises and both his ears were stapled. This was the dreadful sight that greeted the family of N Darmindran at Hospital Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
His wife, M Marry, 26, burst out into tears upon seeing her late husband’s condition and was too distraught to talk to the media.
PKR vice-president and lawyer N Surendran, who accompanied the family, was also shocked.
“It was bad enough that his family saw him in this battered state… what made it worse was that we found staples on both his ears with blood stains all around them. This shows that he was not only beaten but tortured as well,” added the Padang Serai MP.
Darmindran, 32, was an Indah Water employee. The father of a two-year-old daughter was arrested on May 11, several hours after lodging a police report that he was involved in a fight. He was held at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.
‘This is murder’
Meanwhile, Surendran described the case as the worst since the death of A Kugan in 2009.
“This is by far the worst case of police brutality I’ve seen after Kugan… It is very clear after seeing the body that it is murder. The police can’t give lame excuses anymore,” he added.
Speaking of behalf of the family, Surendran demanded that the police set up an independent team to investigate this matter.
“The family doesn’t want a cover up, the police have to be honest. First, all the police officers involved in Darmindran’s arrest and interrogation must be detained,” he said.
“The Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the police must explain the staples found on the victim’s ears and classify this case as murder immediately,” he added.
Surendran also stressed that the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters cannot be involved in the investigation since that was where he was detained, beaten and allegedly tortured.
“The police have to be honest, fair and just. This keeps happening because no stern action has been taken in any of the death in custody cases over the years,” he said.
“I warn the police not to lie in this case… we have seen the body and it does not look like he died of asthma,” he added.
Later in the day, Marry lodged a police report at the Dang Wangi station, claiming that her husband was tortured to death by unidentified police personnel. She wants an independent team from Bukit Aman to investigate her husband’s death.
‘Cops betrayed our trust’
Last night, Darmindran’s father V Narayanasamy, 59, told FMT that he suspects his son was beaten to death and accused the police of betraying the family’s trust.
“They told us not to hire a lawyer. We were hoping that he would be released today. He did not die due to sickness. He would have most probably been beaten to death,” he said.
“We met him on Sunday. he was fine. I was told that he would be out on bail on Tuesday. I wanted to hire a lawyer but the police said it was unnecessary since it was just a fight and my son would be out on police or court bail.
“On Monday, I called the police before we went to court. I was told to call back at 2pm. When I called again, I was told that my son’s remand was extended for another two days,” he added.
Lawyer G Sivamalar, who was with the family last night, said that Darmindran’s wife received a call from an unknown person yesterday.
“The caller did not identify himself. He just said, and I quote, ‘Your husband has asthma. Maybe he is dead. Please check in HKL’,” she added.
She also told FMT that the investigation officer, known as Inspector Kamarul Rizal, confirmed that Darmindran died while being detained at the KL police headquarters.
“How can he just die suddenly?” she asked.
“What is happening in Malaysia? Somebody has died and no one is taking responsibility. Is it so hard to talk to the family for courtesy purposes and allow them to see the body?
“We are living in Malaysia, a so-called democratic country and it is a basic liberty of a family to see the son’s body, the husband’s body,” she said.
G Lavendran and K Pragalath, Free Malaysia Today