Free Press Journal

Ethnic Indian killed in police custody, Malaysian court says


Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian court today ruled that the death of a jobless ethnic Indian man in police custody in 2013 was due to injuries after being physically assaulted by fellow inmates and cops on duty.

Judge Jagjit Singh Bant Singh said in Seremban near here that the victim 43-year-old P Karuna Nithi sustained 49 external injuries due to assault by blunt objects.

“The court finds that the deceased’s death was due to physical assaults, abuses and unlawful acts of persons unknown inclusive of police officers and other detainees in the lock up where the deceased was detained,” the Star paper said.

The judge said the victim’s death was accelerated by failure or omission to provide him with the necessary medical care and attention and the failure by the police officers to stop other detainees from abusing Karuna Nithi.

Police detained Karuna Nithi on May 28, 2013 after his wife lodged a report that he had assaulted her following a quarrel at their home.

The deceased admitted that he had assaulted his wife because he could not take her verbal abuse.

He was taken to the Tampin magistrate’s court where a four-day remand order was issued. He was later charged with causing hurt and taken to the lock-up because his family could not raise the bail amount.

However, a policeman who went to check on him in the evening the following day found him unconscious inside his cell and he was pronounced dead about four hours later.

Police maintained there was no physical abuse involved in his death although family members alleged there were fresh injuries on the victim’s body.

The family then lodged a police report claiming that he was in good health when he was arrested. Police then recommended an inquest to establish the cause of death.