Monday 27 August 2012

Cover-up suspected as shootout witnesses detained

KR supreme council member Latheefa Koya said police are suspected of trying to cover up an extra-judiciary killing last week by “harassing” eye-witnesses and the deceased’s friends and relatives.

NONEIn a press conference today, Latheefa (right) said that four people who witnessed the fatal shooting of D Dinesh, 26, in Ampang on Aug 21 have been re-arrested and sent to the Sea Park police station after their remand order ceased on Aug 25.

“This is what is called ‘chain smoking remand’ (tukar gari). If the police can’t get an extension of remand, they pass (the suspect) to another set of police... defying the magistrate’s order,” she said.

She added that two of Dinesh’s cousins and four of his friends who visited him while he was in Hospital Ampang were nabbed there, and released last night after four days in remand.

“They were nowhere near the shootout. If (police) did nothing wrong, there is no reason to do this,” she said.

Dinesh died from close range gunshot wounds to the head and arm two days after the shooting, which police claim happened after patrolling officers were attacked with a parang.

Ampang Jaya district deputy police chief Md. Nazri Zawawi was reported by dailies Kosmo! and Harian Metro as saying that the car which Dinesh was in tried to rear-end a patrol car.

He also said that those in the car, allegedly from the Viva Nanda gang, also smashed the patrol car’s windscreen with parangs.

The group were said to be involved in a gang fight in Pandan Perdana earlier, and was on the way there to resume the fight when intercepted at about 2 am.

When contacted, Ampang OCPD Amiruddin Jamaluddin, who is still on leave, said that he stands by his deputy’s statement but vows to conduct a “thorough investigation”.

NONEAccording to PKR vice-president N Surendran (left in photo), the police statement on the matter already smells of a cover-up as eyewitnesses said Dinesh was unarmed and retreating when he was shot.

He said that instead of trying to cover up the matter, police should classify the case as murder, suspend all personnel who were involved and begin investigation.

“They are interfering with key witnesses. I am warning the home minister and the inspector-general of police...We have other witnesses. Do no touch, harass or intimidate these witnesses.

“If they try to go after these witnesses, or you’ll face street protests,” he said.

‘No change since Aminulrasyid’

Latheefa added that the reaction from the police has not changed since the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah, despite vows to review the police standard operating procedure.

“Since then we have had other shootings, like the Glenmarie shootings which involved three youths who were also claimed to be part of a gang. The parang said to be found in Aminulrasyid’s car is also still unaccounted for,” she said.

Like the family of Aminulrasyid and the three youths gunned down in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, Dinesh’s family members who were present today refuted claims that the deceased was part of a gang.

“My son is a very pious and simple boy. He won’t do anything like this. I want justice, I want the person (responsible) to be charged,” his father W Dharmasena said.

NONEEchoing Dharmasena was his son Rajan (right in photo), who, while weeping, defended his brother’s innocence.

“My brother was always teaching me how to do business. I didn’t expect things to end up like this. I want justice for him. Please,” he pleaded, alongside his mother Florence Abeyesekera and sister Sharon.

Citing statistics provided in Parliament, Kapar MP S Manickavasagam today said that from 2000 to 2009, 279 people have been shot dead by police, the bulk of whom are Indonesian nationals.

The written answer by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said this is in accordance to the Criminal Procedure Code and Inspector-General of Police’s Standing Order.

However, Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah said that the figure could be understated.

“In 2008 alone, the police figures state that 27 people were shot, but human rights NGO Suaram documented at least 44 cases in that year alone and it is published in their documents.

“Meanwhile, the Human Rights Party which also monitors this, found 82 cases in the same year,” he said.

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