Police Say No Proof Ganapathy Was Assaulted In Custody As He Never Mentioned Any Foul Play

Gombak district police chief ACP Arifai Tarawe also warned people against making comments or racialise the situation as the outrage on social media grows with netizens using the hashtag '#JusticeForGanapathy' to demand transparency and accountability from the police.

Cover image via The Malaysian Insight & Choo Choy May/Malay Mail

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On Friday, 30 April, during a press conference at Gombak police headquarters, district police chief ACP Arifai Tarawe said that there is no proof A Ganapathy was a victim of police brutality or that he was beaten in custody as he never mentioned any "foul play" by police

The 40-year-old Malaysian-Indian succumbed to his injuries on 18 April after fighting for his life since 8 March in Selayang Hospital's intensive care unit. The victim had spent 12 days in police custody from 24 February to 8 March before he was admitted to the hospital, according to a Malaysiakini report.

His family alleges that police had beaten him with a rubber hose and that they were barred from seeing him when his sister went to the police station to deliver medicines for his diabetes and heart problems.

However, in the press conference yesterday, ACP Arifai rubbished the family's allegations.

According to him, Ganapathy was brought before the Magistrates' Court three times on 25 February, 2, and 6 March, and taken to the hospital four times to treat an old injury on 28 February, 3, 6, and 7 March.

This proves that the victim had opportunities to speak up about the alleged torture, Arifai said, but never mentioned to the judge or to the medical personnel that he was beaten in police custody.

"Based on all the facts we have so far, we find that the complaints made by the victim's family cannot be proven. He had an opportunity to bring it up with the judge and hospital staff treating him but never mentioned any foul play," Arifai was quoted as saying by Malay Mail during the press conference.

The lack of any recorded complaint from the victim has led the police to surmise that the family's complaint cannot be proven, Arifai said

"Preliminary investigation found that the victim never made a complaint after being taken to the Magistrate's Court three times, and while receiving treatment at the hospital," he was quoted as saying.

"As a result, we surmised that the complaint cannot be proven but investigations are still ongoing," Arifai said while assuring that investigation into the case are still ongoing.

"We will call the victim's mother and those involved in the near future, to record statements to assist in the investigation. I assure everyone that once investigations are done, we will send our findings to the Attorney General's Chambers," he said while adding that they will submit a proposal for an inquest.

Gombak district police chief ACP Arifai Tarawe during the press conference on Ganapathy's case on 30 April.

Image via Bernama

During the press conference, the Gombak district police chief also revealed that Ganapathy had tested positive for methamphetamine

"A day after the arrest, the victim, who tested positive for drugs following a urine test, informed the police that he had heart disease and diabetes, and his family had sent a supply of medicine," he said.

"The victim was taken to Selayang Hospital four times to receive treatment during the period he was in detention, due to old wounds that existed before the arrest was made."

Meanwhile, amidst the public outrage on social media over Ganapathy's death, he warned against making comments and videos

Arifai advised the public not to speculate or racialise the situation using hashtags like #JusticeForGanapathy and #BrutalityinMalaysia as the investigation was still ongoing and may be hampered.

"If you want to do it, quote someone with authority. If you still want to do it then don't do it in a way that will make people angry, worried, or annoyed. This is not a racial issue," he said.

He added that people who have made baseless comments on social media regarding the case would also be investigated and called in to give statements.

Prior to Arifai's press conference, the victim's family lawyer revealed that an autopsy confirmed he died of severe injuries and that his family is prepared to sue the Royal Malaysia Police and Selayang Hospital:

Read more about Ganapathy's case here:

Ganapathy is not an isolated case as police brutality in detention centres is not uncommon in Malaysia. Read more about past cases:

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