If you’re active on social media, you would’ve definitely noticed hashtags such as #BrownLivesMatter and #PDRMgagal trending over the Malaysian internet space, after two local Indian men, A. Ganapathy and Sivabalan Subramaniam, died while in police custody at the very same station, the Gombak District Police Headquarters recently within a span of two months.
While investigations are still ongoing on the two other cases, another case was revealed recently on 27 May. This time the victim is a 21-year-old Malaysian Indian, Surendran and his family may never see justice or find out the truth of what unfolded the day he died in police custody.
Public figure and activist, Shankar Ganesh took to his Instagram profile to share Surendran’s story.
He wrote, “A young boy, Surendran, has died in police custody at 12pm (27 May) in JB Prison (Simpang Renggam Prison). First, the cops said he died of breathlessness, then a heart attack, then because of his appendix, then finally, Covid-19. Surendran’s dad passed away two weeks ago, and now, Surendran has died in police custody.”
Surendran’s family had apparently requested a post mortem report, but police officers allegedly refused to share details.
“His elderly mother is depressed and has decided not to take any legal action against PDRM. She only wants her son’s body to have a funeral. Datuk Ganesalingam and I cannot do anything besides praying for Surendran’s soul to rest in peace,”
“The case will be closed with no justice served and we cannot do anything about this. This is the fate of Indians. This is extremely sad news and a young, Indian boy has lost his life in police custody,” he added.
Datuk Ganesalingam shared with WORLD OF BUZZ that they are still currently waiting for the post mortem report to be released.
Surendran’s body has since been released to his family, who then held a Hindu funeral for him.
“Surendran’s Hindu ritual has been completed peacefully. Thanks to everyone and to God for making this happen,” Shankar wrote in his post.
Call for action
NGO, Eliminating Deaths And Abuse In Custody Together – EDICT, has since called for an investigation into Surendran’s death.
They wrote, “EDICT urges that an inquest be conducted immediately by the Coroner’s Court to find the reason and cause of death of this young man. The Coroner’s Court is the only body mandated by law to investigate cases of death in custody as stated in the Criminal Procedure Code, Section 334 as well as Practice Direction No.2 of 2019.”
Local human rights NGO, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) has also started an online petition to call for the stop of police brutality and misconduct by establishing an Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), following the incident.
There has been an increasing frequency of Indian deaths and other fatalities under police custody. Hopefully, authorities will be able to identify the root of this issue and take the appropriate, necessary action to stop this from happening again.
Stay tuned for more updates.