‘I was blindfolded, handcuffed, beaten’

[COLOR=#707070 !important]Anisah Shukry
| September 10, 2012
A security manager claims the nightmare started when he lodged a report with the police about a burglary.
KUALA LUMPUR: When Tesco security manager S Selvaraja lodged a police report last week over a robbery at the store’s Taman Wahyu Selayang branch, little did he know that the act would leave him maimed at the hands of the police.

According to Selvaraja, after he made the report and provided the police with CCTV footage of the robbery, the police promptly remanded him and several others to aid in their investigations – and that was when the nightmare began.

“The police took me to their Kepong station, along with two other of my staff.

“They blindfolded me and handcuffed me from behind, then started beating my legs and feet with a black rubber cable for 40 to 50 minutes,” he told reporters here.

Meanwhile, he said, his colleague P Nuniandy was shoved under a table, while the other, Nanda Kumar, was forced into a corner to prevent the two from witnessing the beatings.

“They beat me, they used vulgar words on me… Now I cannot walk without help,” Selvaraja said, indicating his visibly swollen feet, while his wife sobbed silently behind him.

According to Selvaraja, once the beatings ended, he was brought to the Jinjang police lock-up, where he was refused food and medical treatment for the rest of the day.

But he said the ordeal finally ended the following day, after he was brought before the magistrate’s court to have his remand extended.

“At that point, I was unable to stand anymore. So I spoke straight to the judge and asked, ‘What is happening? Why do they need me? Why are they beating me?’” Selvaraja said.

“The judge said it was because of a separate robbery case in Batu Caves that the police were investigating.

“But I was in custody at the time of the second robbery; the remand was not granted.”

He said he was immediately brought to a hospital for treatment, and he later lodged a police report over the incident.

“The hospital says the tissue is torn, and it will take a very long time to heal,” he said, adding that for the time being, he has been granted medical leave as he is unable to walk unaided.

He is also expected to identify the perpetrators later this evening – an almost impossible task as he was reportedly blindfolded throughout the ordeal.

‘Why so brutal?’

Meanwhile, DAP’s A Sivanesan, who was representing Selvaraja, lashed out at the police for their alleged brutality and disregard for standard operating procedures (SOP).

“We go to the police for protection, but they turn around and attack us. We expect them to investigate, but they make us the culprit,” the Sungkai state assemblyman said.

“They talk about SOP, but do those police involved even know what the SOP is?”

“They should have placed Selvaraja in the lock-up, instead of taking him to their office and bashing him.”

Sivanesan said that they would also be lodging a report with the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) over the incident, and were currently mulling filing a suit against the police.

“The policemen are trained, yet why are they so brutal? This man cannot even walk and stand properly anymore as his soles are badly injured,” he said.

DAP publicity chief Ton Pua, who was also present, said this case was proof that an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was urgently needed.

“The police force must be monitored by the IPCMC to ensure such police brutality does not go unchecked,” he said.

“Without such an independent institution set-up, the police are a law unto themselves,” he said.
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