A Kugan’s death in police custody: MurderPosted: January 23, 2009
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail has classified the case involving A Kugan, the 22-year-old detainee who died in police custody on Tuesday, as murder.
To know more, Antares has Malaysiakini’s previous report, plus photos. Gruesome photos that stayed with me most of yesterday.
I cannot begin to describe what this could mean.
For someone to die with so little dignity left intact is a tragic story. But for that someone to die in such a manner while under police custody escalates this case to another level altogether.
I can’t speak of “the good ol’ days” when everyone could trust the police force to do whatever in their power to protect the people. I’m only 22, and I have never had any contact whatsoever with the police. I don’t know of such “good ol’ days”.
But I imagine that the police are supposed to be there for exactly that reason. To protect the people. They are supposed to be the law-keepers. Their presence is supposed to let us feel safe.
But for a murder to happen while someone is under their charge is completely outrageous. They are the law keepers. They are NOT above the law. And they cannot take law into their own hands.
This, of course, is not the first time that we are hearing of such atrocities happening to people who are under police custody. I’ve previously read of cases where females are molested or raped while under police custody. I’ve read about other people dying under police custody. I’ve read of the use of corporal punishment and abuse, sometimes torture even, of people under police custody.
For whatever “reasons” these things happen, they shouldn’t. Simply because it is sending out all the wrong messages about what the police are supposed to be doing.
The police are there to carry out investigations. To keep peace. Their job description does not include carrying out punishments. It does not include proclaiming a person guilty of an offense before a verdict in court has been reached. And they simply are not supposed to lay their hands on the people. Force is something that the police are supposed to use sparingly, and under the most dire of conditions, if not NOT AT ALL.
The murder of A Kugan adds to a long list of reasons why people are losing, or have lost, confidence in our police force.