Malaysian cops charged with custodial death of Indian-origin man

Singapore, June 5 (IANS) Three Malaysian policemen have been charged with the death of an Indian-origin man in police custody.

Jaffri Jaafar, 44, Mohammad Nahar Abd Rahman, 45, and Mohammad Haswadi Zamri Shaari, 32, Wednesday confirmed in a magistrate’s court in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur that they understood the charges in connection with the death of N. Dhamendran, 32, in the police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur May 21, the Malaysian Star reported.

No plea, however, was recorded.

The three policemen, along with another one who is at large, have been accused of colluding to cause the death of Dhamendran.

While lawyers Hazman Ahmad, Baljit Singh Sidhu and Geethan Ram Vincent represented Jaafar, Rahman and Zamri Shari respectively, lawyers N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya held a watching brief for the family of the deceased.

Dhamendran, a lorry driver, was detained May 13 along with three others to assist police in an investigation into a May 11 shooting incident in Bandar Tun Razak area of Kuala Lumpur. Two other Indian-origin men had sustained injuries in the incident.

Police said Dhamendran had complained of chest pain May 21 and was taken to hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead on arrival at 9 p.m.

However, the post-mortem examination report later showed that Dhamendran’s death must have been caused due to “diffused soft tissue injuries due to multiple blunt force trauma”.

The incident has sparked outrage among the ethnic Indian community in that southeast Asian nation.

The three accused policemen will face the death sentence under Section 302 of the Malaysian penal code if found guilty.

Magistrate Nur A’minatul Mardiah Md Nor has fixed July 9 as the date for handing in documents, including the chemist’s and post-mortem reports.

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