They had earlier arrested five men wearing Hindraf T-shirts as they
threw a tight cordon around the medical centre for the suspected car
thief's funeral. They only allowed some 50 people, including family and
several lawmakers, to claim Kugan's body.
Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said family and friends paid respects at the
mortuary five at a time. Police had earlier chased away reporters and
nearly 100 supporters around the mortuary waiting to pay respects.
The Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and Light Strike Force had cordoned
off the teaching hospital this morning but crowds, responding to text
messages, have turned up for the funeral procession. Several tried to
go through the barricade but police ordered them to disperse.
Police arrested two men when the crowd were dispersing just after
noon. The government had banned the Hindraf movement last year, making
all its symbols illegal, after it organised a massive protest in
November 2007. Five Hindraf leaders are under ISA detention.
Another two were arrested later for inciting the crowd, police said. They also wore Hindraf T-shirts.
"I don't see why anyone has been arrested. We are not here to make trouble," Gobind, who is also Puchong MP, told reporters.
"They are just here to pay last respects," said Kapar MP S.
Manikavasagam, who said he will lodge a police report against Selangor
police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar for making conflicting statements
over Kugan's death.
Kugan, a 22-year-old insurance claims executive, was arrested on Jan
14 for allegedly being involved in a luxury car-theft ring. He died on
Jan 20 after drinking some water, police claimed. An initial autopsy
said he died of "fluid in the lungs".
But the Attorney-General's Chambers have classified the case as
murder after an outcry by the family and lawmakers, and a second
autopsy over the weekend found external injuries and phlegm in his
The family and authorities are waiting for detailed toxicological and tissue tests in the final autopsy report.
Critics have said Kugan's death is the latest in custody deaths in Malaysia, mostly among Indians detained by the police.
But Hindraf legal advisor S. Tanendran disagreed, saying it is a
Malaysian issue, not a racial issue. "Deaths in detention happens to
all races," he said.
Kugan funeral procession: Five arrested
JAYA: The funeral procession of A. Kugan, whose death in police custody
has galvanised civil society, began at 11:45pm Wednesday as the body
left the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) mortuary here. It
would proceed to Subang Jaya and then on to Puchong where the suspected
car thief will finally be laid to rest, leaving in his wake disturbing
questions about police abuse. Five men have also been arrested.
First, police detained two men who tried to get through a barricade at
the UMMC despite orders to disperse. Two more were detained at about 1:40pm by plainclothes policemen for allegedly trying to incite the crowd. The
four were wearing t-shirts depicting the outlawed Hindu Rights Action
Force movement, or Hindraf. The fifth is believed to be former Hindraf
coordinator R.S. Thanendran. The first arrests, made at the UMCC
entrance about 12.15pm, came after Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul
Bari Wan Abdul Khalid had made an announcement asking the crowd
disperse. He gave the crowd up till a count to 10 to disperse,
failing which he said arrests would be made. He then ordered his men to
arrests the two. They have been taken to the Brickfields police headquarters for questioning, ACP Wan Abdul Bari said. At about 1:25pm, FRU officers came to the front of the mortuary and forced press photographers away from the scene. Earlier
at 12:45pm, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam,
Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, Penang Deputy Chief Minister (II) Dr P.
Ramasamy and the family’s lawyer N. Surendran arrived but were denied
entry into the mortuary by a UMMC security officer. A heat exchange ensued before they were allowed in, together with Kugan’s parents and two other relatives. Relatives and friends were then allowed entry into the mortuary where Kugan’s body is being kept, but only in batches of five. At
a hastily-convened press conference at the scene, Manikavasagam denied
online rumours that the funeral procession was going to proceed to the
Kuala Lumpur City Centre to hold a demonstration. Instead, he
clarified, the procession would first proceed to Subang Jaya where a
five-minute prayer would be held at the Taipan police station in which
Kugan was killed, before proceeding to Puchong for the funeral rites. Meanwhile, Gobind said they were not there to cause trouble and blamed the police for blowing things out of proportion. “We’re just here to show our support,” he said. “We’re just here to claim the body and allow Kugan’s funeral to proceed.” Gobind
also said that the second post-mortem report has been completed but the
doctor who conducted it had yet to reveal anything. Later, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok arrived as well. Members
of the Field Reserve Unit (FRU) and the Light Strike Force were
deployed early Wednesday to Jalan Universiti to prepare for the funeral
procession. The suspected car thief had died while being questioned by police on Jan 20. The
units have been placed there in anticipation of a large crowd for the
procession that will begin at UMMC and proceed to Puchong, Petaling
Jaya police chief Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said earlier. Members of the public should not join in any illegal gathering and police will take stern action, he added. Kugan’s family had arrived at the scene a little after 12 noon. His
uncle, Ravi Roy, 42, had earlier told the media said that the family
was not blaming the police force for Kugan’s death, but was merely
seeking the truth. “We are not blaming the entire police force,
all we want is for the people who are responsible to be brought to
justice,” he said at the Bandar Kinrara home here of Kugan’s parents on
Monday. Kugan’s body is currently at the UMMC mortuary, where a second post-mortem was conducted last Sunday. The
22-year-old collapsed and died inside the Taipan police station in
Subang Jaya on Tuesday last week. The initial post-mortem revealed that
he had died due to fluid in his lungs, but Kugan’s family entered the
Serdang Hospital mortuary that same day and took photographs of his
body, which showed severe bruising. They demanded a second post-mortem, although that report is not out yet. While
initially saying no foul play was involved, police have now
reclassified the case as murder for the purpose of investigation, at
the urging of the Attorney-General. Earlier, Deputy
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said police would not
allow any carrying of banners or posters during Kugan’s funeral. He said the funeral should not be politicised or turned into a racial event. He warned groups who were not involved to stay out of the funeral procession. “The body should be brought straight from the mortuary to the crematorium in Puchong,” he said. Ismail
said that if Kugan’s body was taken elsewhere, it would be considered
an illegal gathering and the police would take action. He said that the police would be on stand-by to ensure that the funeral proceeded smoothly.*********
Leaders: Keep race out of it
By : V. Shuman and Azura Abas
Many people are emotional and it would not take
much before the finger-pointing starts and the whole thing turns into a
racial issue.- Senator T. Murugiah
KUALA LUMPUR: Three political leaders have appealed to the public not to turn the A. Kugan incident into a racial issue.
The appeal was made by deputy ministers, Senator
T. Murugiah and Datuk S.K. Devamany, as well as opposition leader Datuk
Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Murugiah advised the public not to aggravate the situation as
investigations were under way to nab the culprits responsible for the
"Many people are emotional and it would
not take much before the finger-pointing starts and the whole thing
turns into a racial issue.
"Everyone concerned, including the
family of the deceased, should remain patient until the investigations
are completed," Murugiah told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Murugiah added that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib
Razak had expressed concern over the case and the Attorney-General Tan
Sri Abdul Gani Patail had assured him that the culprits would be
He also urged the public to allow Kugan's funeral procession today to
proceed peacefully, without the carrying of banners or placards and
without disrupting public order.
Devamany said Kugan's death had nothing to do with racial sentiment and that it was an issue of the rule of law.
"No one should do anything to disrupt police investigations.
"Also, as a sign of respect for the deceased and his family, we must ensure the funeral procession goes on smoothly."
Kugan's body will be buried at the Puchong Batu 14 cemetery.
Anwar said on Sunday that the party would face head on any attempt to
turn Kugan's death and the incident at the mortuary, where a mob
allegedly barged in and took photographs of the body, into a racial
"There are attempts to divert the people's attention from the youth's death to what had happened at the mortuary," he said.
On Tuesday night, a group of about 50 people were said to have barged
into the Serdang Hospital mortuary to inspect and take photos of
Devamany, Murugiah and seven others who were present, had their statements recorded by the police.
It was, however, learnt later that mortuary personnel told police they had opened the doors to the group.
Anwar said the mortuary incident was a small matter compared with the
alleged deaths of 80 detainees in police lock-ups since 2000.
He also urged the government to set up a royal commission to investigate the youth's death.
Kugan was arrested on Jan 14 after a car chase over his alleged involvement in a car theft syndicate.
He collapsed and died while being interrogated at the Subang Jaya Taipan police station on Jan 20.
The case, which was initially classified as voluntarily causing hurt to
extort a confession, was re-classified as murder on Friday, following
which 11 police personnel from the Taipan police station, were
re-assigned to desk duties at the Selangor district police headquarters.
Kugan's family are currently awaiting results of a second post-mortem
conducted at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre on Sunday.
The family was not satisfied with the results of the first post-mortem,
which indicated that he had died of fluid ac*****ulation in his lungs.