SERDANG, Jan 24 — A security guard was chased down yesterday by four policemen who subsequently handcuffed and beat him to death together with a mob of more than 20 people in Hulu Langat yesterday, eyewitnesses alleged today.
It is unclear why policemen were trying to apprehend 40-year-old C. Sugumaran. He was found naked with handcuffs still on him, according to witnesses.
His body is now at the Serdang Hospital where family members had been denied access since their arrival at 9am.
According to witnesses who were present at the hospital today, the incident happened at 6.30pm yesterday.
Sugumaran was seen running from the four policemen in two patrol cars along a major road five minutes from his home in Taman Sri Nanding, Batu 12 Hulu Langat.
As the road was congested with traffic, the four policemen stopped their vehicles and proceeded to chase after Sugumaran on foot.
After they caught and handcuffed him, more than 20 other men from a nearby restaurant joined the policemen and proceeded to assault him.
“The police stepped on Sugumaran’s neck,” R. Moohanarajan told The Malaysian Insider at the Serdang Hospital here today.
“Twenty to thirty people wearing plain clothes beat him up. He was lying facedown with his hands handcuffed behind,” added Moohanarajan, who was Sugumaran’s neighbour.
The eyewitnesses said that the 10-minute beating happened at about 6.30pm yesterday near the Taman Perkasa cemetery at Batu 12, Hulu Langat.
More than 20 people comprising Sugumaran’s family, relatives and neighbours had gathered at the hospital here since 9am, demanding to see the body.
Sugumaran’s mother K. Manimagalay was only allowed access to her son’s body about six hours later at 3.10pm.
She burst into tears after emerging from the mortuary and had to be consoled by her younger brother.
Chaos ensued when Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam shouted: “The handcuffs are still on the body. Celaka (Damn)! Already dead, still handcuffed.”
Other people started shouting angrily as about five police officers tried to control the crowd.
Moohanarajan, who is unemployed, said he was returning home after buying a video game when he saw the police chasing Sugumaran, beating him, handcuffing him, and then throwing turmeric powder in the latter’s face.
He added that the forensic police only came at about 11pm to remove the body after it had rained.
Manimagalay said that her youngest son Sugumaran did not have a criminal record.
“He never stole. He did not murder anyone…People said that he had fought with Nepalese though,” she told reporters.
The mother of three sons also said that Sugumaran suffered from a mental illness, but did not specify what it was.
Sugumaran’s friend T. Panirselvam said that Sugumaran was hot-tempered and reacted to provocation.
“Maybe he has depression,” said Panirselvam, adding that Sugumaran’s mother had lodged a police report against Sugumaran a few years ago, but did not specify further.
Sugumaran’s family lawyer N. Surendran told reporters here today after viewing the body that Sugumaran’s left leg was injured and had lots of scars, which indicated that “he was pushed down.”
“There was bleeding from the back of the head. On his face, there were remains of turmeric powder around the mouth,” said Surendran, who is also a PKR vice-president.
Surendran called for an immediate police investigation and the suspension of the men involved in the incident.
The post-mortem results were unavailable at press time.
Kajang CID chief DSP Marzuki Mohd Mokhdar told The Malaysian Insider today that the police would brief reporters after the post-mortem that would likely be finished tonight.
“We’ve nothing to hide,” he said.