PETALING JAYA (June 1): PKR wants the policemen involved in detainee N Dhamendran’s torture and subsequent death while in police custody to be charged with his murder immediately.

In calling the injuries suffered by the 32-year-old “even more worse” than those inflicted on car thief suspect A Kugan who died in police custody four years ago, the party’s vice president N Surendran said the post-mortem report was legally adequate to bring forward murder charges.

“The report cannot be second guessed. He was beaten on almost every inch of his body.

“Those involved must be immediately arrested, today. Now,” he said after revealing the autopsy report and some photos at the party’s headquarters here this morning.

Also present were Dhamendran’s widow, Mary Soosay and Dhamendran’s father V Narayanasamy, as well as human rights lawyer Michelle Yesudas and S Jayathas, PKR human rights and legal bureau deputy chairman.

Surendran said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should personally respond and explain to the country how a suspect in police custody can end up being tortured to death as he felt the Home Minister was “not adequate” to reply.

Among the injuries detailed in the autopsy report include Dhamendran’s ear lobes, thighs and lower legs being stapled, haemorrhaging between the skull and brain – suggesting he was beaten on the head with a blunt object – as well as “big bruises” to the abdomen, hip bone and kidney area.

The entire chest area, Surendran said was “blackened” from being beaten, while certain makers on Dhamendran’s body seem to suggest he was assaulted with a rotan.

Surendran also accused policemen of “indiscriminately using” the staple on Dhamendran, based on the autopsy report.

He also alleged it was quite clear the deceased was handcuffed and made to kneel while he was tortured as he had not sustained any defensive wounds.

“We can only imagine the extent of pain and suffering he endured. He had no hope, neither could he escape,” Surendran said, adding that the family was very unhappy that police personnel suspected of torturing Dhamendran had been transferred to desk duties pending the outcome of police investigations.

Apart from Dhamendran being badly beaten, Surendran pointed out that the autopsy report, prepared by Hospital Kuala Lumpur pathologist Dr Siew Sheue Feng, noted at the pattern of the injuries were neither “self-inflicted” or “accidental in nature”.

This he said was important to debunk the standard response by the authorities that the injuries were self-inflicted.

Surendran also highlighted the fact that the autopsy report showed there was “no significant natural disease found” in Dhamendran’s body which could have caused or contributed to the latter’s death.

This he said was a key finding because the police had claimed the deceased suffered chest pains when the report of Dhamendran’s death became public.

Yesudas meanwhile called Dhamendran’s death an execution before the latter could even be brought to court.

She also urged the authorities to stop telling the people the deceased died due to health problems.

On May 21, Dhamendran, an Alam Flora lorry driver, died while in lock up after he was arrested in connection with a shooting incident in Bandar Tun Razak.

Police had initially classified the case as sudden death as Dhamendran collapsed after complaining of chest pains and that he had suffered an asthma attack followed by a heart attack.

They have since reclassified the case as murder.

by Sean Augustin