MCA, MIC and Gerakan call for thorough probe into Kugan’s death

(The Star) – Three Barisan Na­­sional component parties have called for more in-depth investigations into the death of detainee A. Kugan (pic) while under police custody, and pressed for swift action for greater transparency and accountability on the part of the Govern­ment.

The MCA wants an independent autopsy to be carried out to determine Kugan’s cause of death while the MIC wants an independent committee to investigate the death.

Gerakan meanwhile called on the Government to review the interrogation procedures of enforcement agencies.

MCA central committee member Wong Nai Chee, lauding Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail’s decision to classify Kugan’s death as murder, urged police to conduct a thorough investigation.

“The MCA is aghast over the extent of the injuries on the body of Kugan, who collapsed and died while in police custody.

“We call upon Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and the Inspector-General of Police to carry out a thorough probe into the detainee’s death,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Kugan died in the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya, after being arrested on Wednesday for suspicion of being involved in a car theft syndicate.

Wong, who is also the party’s Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Legislation Research Bureau head, added that “if it is found that negligence or assault on the part of the authorities led to the Kugan’s death, immediate and appropriate action must be taken against the culprits.”

MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, who called for an independent committee of eminent persons to investigate the death, said transparent action by the Govern­ment would bring back public confidence in the police.

“The committee should be em­­powered to look into lockup procedures and closed-circuit camera recordings,” he said.

In calling for a review of interrogation procedures, Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn said this was to ensure that the use of excessive force was not allowed or condoned.

Death and injury while under police detention were issues that must be tackled by the Government immediately, he said in a statement.