KUALA LUMPUR: A district CID chief told an inquiry into the death of detainee S Balamurugan that he should have been sent to hospital and not held in a police station.
Klang Utara CID chief ASP Norasnizam Nordin said the slip-up happened because he was not properly briefed by his men about Balamurugan’s condition.
“Yes, he was not supposed to be in the room. I am not sure who gave the order to put him there. Nobody informed me about it.
“I also have no idea that he was brought back to the station after his remand application was denied,” he told the inquiry at the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) headquarters.
In explaining why Balamurugan was not brought to hospital, Norasnizam shifted blame to his officers, saying he assumed his men had taken him for a check-up since there was a clear order from the Klang magistrate’s court to take Balamurugan to hospital.
He said he did not bother to check with his men although there was a long conversation in their WhatsApp group.
“I was not informed in a serious manner by my men on his condition. If I knew, surely I would have taken drastic measures.
“I assumed they had taken him to a hospital because there was already an order from the court. I did not check with my men if he had been taken to hospital because there was already an order,” Norasnizam said.
Yesterday, Inspector Mohd Noor Husri Johari told the inquiry that Norasnizam did not order his men to take Balamurugan for a medical check-up despite being informed of his health condition.
Husri, who was the investigating officer (IO) for the arrest of Balamurugan, Ang Tian Kok, K Tamilasan and Kanapathy, divulged that instead of asking his men to take Balamurugan to the hospital, Norasnizam ordered Balamurugan to be re-arrested after the Klang magistrates’ court denied his remand application.
“ASP Norasnizam sent me a message on WhatsApp telling me to re-arrest Balamurugan and file a new police report so we can obtain his remand the next day.
“I informed Inspector Vickneswaran from D9 unit to prepare a new police report. This is because only the D9 unit knows about Balamurugan’s activities.
“There was no order from the CID chief to take Balamurugan to a hospital,” Insp Husri told EAIC.
Car theft syndicate
When asked today why Balamurugan had to be re-arrested, Norasnizam told the inquiry Balamurugan was allegedly involved in a car theft syndicate known as ‘Gang Apoi’.
“We had grounds to believe that he was involved in the car theft syndicate. That was why we wanted to re-arrest him,” he said.
He also said one ASP Husri had told him about the remand application and that D9 would prepare a new report.
“But as I said, I did not bother to ask about his situation because there was already an order from the court. Moreover I was busy with managing some other cases on that day,” he said.
Earlier today, Insp Mohaneswaran Thiagarajah, a D9 police officer from the Klang Selatan police headquarters, told the inquiry that Balamurugan was not a suspect in that particular case.
He said the main suspect of the car theft case was Tamilasan, adding that Balamurugan was not involved in the case.
During yesterday’s inquiry, four police officers denied witnessing any beatings as alleged by fellow detainees Ang Tian Kok and Tamilasan.
All four officers agreed that only shouts were hurled at the three men and none admitted to have punched and kicked them.
However, the officers’ accounts yesterday contradicted the testimonies of Ang and Tamilasan, who both said they were punched and kicked during the short interrogation process.
Tamilasan previously informed the hearing that Balamurugan was kicked and punched during a brief interrogation at the Bandar Baru Klang police station.
During an earlier hearing, a pathologist from the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah suggested that the blunt force trauma sustained by Balamurugan during his detention could have triggered a heart attack that probably caused his death.
On Feb 11 this year, four days after Balamurugan’s death, North Klang police chief ACP Mohd Yusoff Mamat disclosed that more than 10 policemen at the North Klang district police headquarters were under investigation over the death.
Mohd Yusoff, however, said none of the policemen had been suspended as investigations were ongoing.
He said claims by certain quarters that there were bruises and injuries on the body of Balamurugan should not arise until the autopsy report was released by the hospital.
Resource : Berita Daily