The death of A.Kugan, a suspected car thief has created a controversy that has the potential of becoming a racial conflict.
The circumstance of A.Kugan’s death led to speculation that he was victim of police brutality. A.Kugan was a suspect and until proven in court, he is innocent.
While it may be difficult to illicit information from the suspect, the right of the suspect should be respected. The police have not done a good job in explaining his death and this must have led the victim’s family to demand a second post mortem.
A healthy young man should not die while in police custody. What causes his lung to have fluid (probably a pleural diffusion) should have triggered senior police officer to probe further since a healthy person would not have fluid in the lung without an underlying cause – infection, trauma and etc.
Failing to identify this must have triggered the family outburst.
The 2 Deputy Ministers have no choice but to be at the mortuary on the requests of A.Kugan family members. They are doing their work as MP and if they have not shown up, they will be bombarded by the family members and public. To their credit, their intervention led to the Deputy Prime Minister to request for a 2nd post mortem.
When it comes to 2nd post mortem, the police have been very defensive rather than helpful to manage what is obviously a PR disaster by the police.
This only serves to provoke anger among family members and public. The police have a job to do; they should be doing it well and beyond suspicion of a possible cover up about the actual cause of death of A.Kugan.
The harsh statement by the Minister of Internal Security only serves to ignite more anger.
Of course we all agreed that issue like this should not be politicized or assume a racial overtone.
The poor handling of this case certainly serve to strengthen the Hindraf claim of marginalization of a particular ethnic group in our country.
Common sense and professionalism should prevail. The police need badly a PR course in handling the press and aggrieved family members.
Arrogance and the know-all attitudes among some police offices will only further alienate public co-operation with the police.
Let’s hope that the 2nd post mortem will shed more light into A.Kugan’s death. Whoever is responsible for his death should be dealt with promptly. Only then it will serve to restore some confidence and respect among the people towards our police force.
Meanwhile, the police and the doctors involved in the post mortem should be allowed to do their work.