Kugan’s mom: Give me back my son

The family's lawyer also urges the government to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe the youth's death in police custody two years ago.

PETALING JAYA: Crushed by the court’s decision to free a policeman charged with causing grievous hurt to her deceased son, N Indra broke down in tears at a press conference here.

When asked to speak, the 42-year-old housewife could not find the words, and muttered to her lawyer N Surendran amid sobs, “I want my son back… give me back my son.”

Kugan’s aunt S Renuga, who was also present, said that the family was saddened by the Session Court’s decision to acquit Constable V Navindran this morning.

“When his death was highlighted, (Attorney-General) Abdul Gani (Patail) said there were 11 suspects. Now, not even one has been convicted. So where did his injuries come from?” asked the ashen-faced woman, urging the public to support the family’s call for justice.

Meanwhile, Surendran urged the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the 21-year-old youth’s death in police custody two years ago.

“The commission must be given wide powers to find out who murdered Kugan,” he said.
Kugan, whose body was found riddled with scars, was detained to facilitate investigations into a car theft syndicate.

While the initial post-mortem concluded that he had died of fluid accumulation in the lungs, a second post-mortem commissioned by the family claimed that he was beaten, starved and burnt with a hot iron.

Surendran, who is also PKR vice-president, called on Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail to resign for failing to secure a conviction.

“Gani should be held personally responsible for the prosecution’s incompetence. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should personally answer for this,” he said.

MIC urges Najib to form IPCMC
Meanwhile, MIC information chief S Murugesan said a proper mechanism must be put in place to check the alarming number of death in custody cases.

“The acquittal in Kugan’s case just goes to show that we do not have a proper mechanism to monitor and bring to book those responsible for such deaths.

“At the moment, the police investigate death of inmates in its custody. Justice must not only be done but seen to be done as well,” he added.

Murugesan pointed out that in circumstances where the investigators were from the same agency under whose watch death occurred, the issue of impartiality and transparency arose.

Furthermore, he added, the number of convictions secured for death in police custody cases spoke volumes on the ineffectiveness of the current system.

In view of this, Murugesan urged Prime Minister Najib to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

“The commission should have full powers to receive complaints, investigate, publish reports and prosecute those responsible in cases of death in custody.

“It will help restore public confidence in our police force and show the seriousness of the government in dealing with the issue,” he added.

No prima facie case
This morning, Justice Aslam Zainuddin said that Navindran was not required to enter his defence at the end of the prosecution case.

He added that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the constable.

Navindran, 28, faced two counts of causing grievous hurt to Kugan, 23, at the D9 interrogation room at the Taipan police station, Subang Jaya, at 7am on Jan 16, 2009. The offences carry a maximum 10 years jail and a fine upon conviction.

Navindran also faced two alternative charges of causing hurt to Kugan at the same place and time, which carry a maximum seven years jail and a fine on conviction.

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