Group storms hospital mortuary

(NST) – A group of about 50 people stormed the Serdang Hospital mortuary on Tuesday night and locked themselves inside for three hours with the body of a youth who had died earlier in police custody.

The body of A. Kugan, 22, an odd-job worker, was the subject of police investigation as his family had alleged he was a victim of police brutality.

The group had allegedly pushed out a medical assistant and his two staff before conducting their own checks on the body. They left the mortuary about 2.30am.

When the hospital staff went inside, they found that the clothes had been torn off the body. The medical assistant immediately lodged a police report.

Kugan had been detained at the Subang Taipan police station since Jan 14.

He collapsed on Tuesday while being interrogated. His body was sent to the hospital for a post-mortem.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar questioned the motive of the group, saying it was tantamount to tampering with evidence.

"The investigating officer was not present nor was the doctor. What were they doing with the body?"

Hours after the group left the mortuary, photographs allegedly showing bruises on Kugan's body were circulated on the Internet and among reporters.

"Do they want to see justice done or just hamper police investigations? Let us conduct the investigations first. Do not take the law into your own hands," Khalid said, promising a fair and thorough probe.

Kugan's family and several political parties lodged police reports yesterday urging the authorities to investigate the circumstances leading to his death.

Kugan's father, R. Ananthan, demanded that those responsible for his son's death be brought to justice, adding that there were bruises on Kugan's neck, back, hands, legs and wrists.

Some 200 people, including representatives of MIC and Pakatan Keadilan Rakyat, (PKR), accompanied Ananthan to the police station here yesterday, carrying placards and photographs of Kugan.

Kugan was arrested after a car chase in Sungai Chua, Kajang.

He was caught after a brief struggle while his accomplice escaped on foot when their car was cornered.

Kugan was being investigated for a series of robberies and theft of luxury cars.