Ganapathy's Lawyer Says Autopsy Confirms Victim Died Of Injuries On Shoulders & Legs
An autopsy confirmed that alleged custodial death victim A Ganapathy died of severe injuries on his legs and shoulders, revealed his family's lawyer K Ganesh
Speaking to Malaysiakini yesterday, 29 April, Ganapathy's family lawyer said a doctor from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital Pathology Department had recently told the deceased's family about the findings of the autopsy.
"We were told Ganapathy died of severe injuries on his legs," Ganesh told the news portal.
The lawyer added that Ganapathy's family was present at the hospital when hospital officials revealed the findings of the autopsy.
"The autopsy took eight hours on the day of his death. Today, we are told of its findings but have yet to receive the report," Ganesh shared.
"Now the OCPD (district police chief) has to move (to investigate the case) as promised."
Ganapathy succumbed to his injuries on 18 April after being warded in Selayang Hospital for over a month following his release by the police
The victim spent 12 days in police custody from 24 February to 8 March before he was admitted to the hospital.
The 40-year-old cow's milk trader was arrested to assist with investigations into his sibling's alleged crimes. The court granted a 13-day remand order, but he was let off a day earlier.
Ganapathy's father said his son was cleared of any wrongdoing before being sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) in the hospital for treatment.
The Malaysian Insight reported that Ganapathy's family was only allowed to meet him after he was freed.
During detention, his sister brought medicine to Ganapathy at the detention centre, but she was prohibited from seeing her brother.
Although the deceased had a history of diabetes and heart problems, his family claimed he was in good health before the arrest.
Ganapathy's mother, S Thanaletchumy, claimed that her son told her that the police had beaten him with a rubber hose during his stint in police custody.
She added that Ganapathy's health deteriorated during the detention, resulting in his leg being swollen and bruised as though he had been beaten.
The hospital, however, said Ganapathy's leg had to be amputated as he was confirmed to have kidney problems.
Ganapathy leaves behind two children, aged five and seven, reports Malaysiakini.
Meanwhile, the police told the family that Ganapathy's severe injuries were due to falling off a motorcycle
"Initially, Ganapathy told the magistrate that his leg was in pain and the magistrate instructed the police to bring him to the hospital," The Malaysian Insight quoted Ganesh as saying.
"He was there for a few hours and then brought back to police custody, and after further beatings, he was brought again to the hospital."
"This happened two more times," said the lawyer.
Ganapathy was taken to the hospital on 28 February, 3 March, 6 March, and 7 March.
Ganapathy's family will be suing the police and Selayang Hospital for alleged murder
Ganesh said the family wants to sue for alleged negligence that caused the death of their son.
The lawyer contended that the hospital is to be blamed as well for failing to take care of his client.
According to him, the doctors should have intervened and requested the police to allow Ganapathy to stay in the hospital for monitoring due to his serious condition.
Following the news of Ganapathy's alleged death by police brutality, many rights groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and political leaders have expressed their concern
Among them are 18 youth group organisations, who have come together to make a joint statement, urging the government to introduce a complete and comprehensive Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) Bill.
They also urge the government to launch a public inquiry into Ganapathy's death and institutionalisation of police abuse.
"In light of the persisting allegations of police misconduct and abuse in custody, we assert our commitment to the rule of law in the preservation of our constitutional rights and protections," read the statement made available to SAYS, which is signed by The Noeo Project and Undi18, among others.
"Between 2002 and 2016, there have been 257 deaths in police custody as reported by the Home Ministry. However, the proportion of minority Indian deaths is close to eight times their proportion of the population. This leads to a clear conclusion that our protections under the law, especially as marginalised groups, have been eroded by the lack of comprehensive independent bodies to review police misconduct."
Commenting on the issue as well, Batu Member of Parliament (MP) P Prabakaran said the police owe the public a transparent explanation, adding that the chronology of the event must be shown without any cover-up, reported The Malaysian Insight.
Prabakaran also asked the police to reveal the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage where Ganapathy was held.
"The government previously, on 23 September 2019, approved over RM73 million to install CCTV in all police lock-ups, as announced by then de facto law minister Liew Vui Keong, but what happened to the project?" he asked.
"Will Ganapathy's condition be revealed through that lock-up CCTV footage?"
Additionally, MIC deputy president M Saravanan said he will talk to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Home Minister to seek information on the development of the case, reported Malaysiakini.
Saravanan, who is also the Human Resources Minister, said he will be bringing the matter to the Cabinet for a discussion as well.
Ganapathy was detained to help investigate cases involving a mattress warehouse robbery, hijacking vehicles, fighting, and wrongful confinement: