Mother of 5 demands justice after husband’s death in police custody


Mother of 5 demands justice after husband’s death in police custody
Mother of 5 demands justice after husband’s death in police custody
PETALING JAYA: A mother of five is searching for answers after the death of her husband at the Kuala Langat district police headquarters (IPD) in Banting on Monday.Lorry driver Vinaiyagar K Thinpathy, 49, was arrested in Banting on Sept 8, and his wife, Navaneetham Nagappan, 35, is adamant that she still has not been provided any information as to why or under what section he was detained.

When he did not attend his second remand hearing at the Telok Datok magistrates’ court on Monday, she went to the IPD, where she was told that Vinaiyagar had died earlier in the morning.

Today’s autopsy at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) found that Vinaiyagar, who was found to have been Covid-19 positive, died due to a burst ulcer in his stomach.

Navaneetham, who was allowed to see Vinaiyagar’s body before the autopsy, alleged she saw swellings all over her husband’s body.

“His mouth, back and stomach were swollen, and he had a fresh wound on one of his elbows and a blood stain near his moustache,” she said.

“My husband was a healthy man and had no pre-existing illnesses. I demand justice,” she said.

Dayalan Sreebalan, who heads two NGOs, told FMT that the pathologist at HKL found that Vinaiyagar’s stomach was full of fluid due to the burst ulcer, which Navaneetham said could have been prevented.

“The ulcer was just three or four days old, and the pathologist said Vinaiyagar could easily have been saved if he had received medical attention earlier,” Dayalan said.

The activist also said he found out from another detainee who had been in the same lockup that Vinaiyagar was “screaming for help” saying he had stomach pains, but he was not sent to the hospital.

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“I think this is negligence on the part of the police,” he said.

According to Dayalan, Navaneetham said her husband had never complained of stomach pains.

Dayalan also expressed surprise at the pathologist’ report that Vinaiyagar was Covid-19 positive because he had tested negative after a test when he was in detention on Sept 9.

Navaneetham, who is unemployed, said her youngest child, a three-year-old boy, celebrated his birthday yesterday and kept asking for his father.

“He kept asking me to call his father but I said I couldn’t as he was at work,” she said.

Navaneetham added that she was resting at home on Monday afternoon after she found out her husband had passed away when she received a call from the Kuala Langat IPD asking her to go to the station.

Upon her arrival with her sister and brother-in-law, Navaneetham said the trio were questioned about Vinaiyagar and “whether he was a gangster”.

Navaneetham added she lodged a police report at the Jenjarom police station early today to state her dissatisfaction with the treatment her husband received at the Kuala Langat IPD.

She lodged another police report at the Sentul police station after the results of the autopsy were finalised, where she reiterated that she was unhappy about how her husband was treated while in police custody.

FMT has reached out to the case’s investigating officer and attempted to contact Kuala Langat district police chief Ahmad Ridhwan Mohd Nor.

Officers at the Kuala Langat IPD and the Selangor police headquarters’ media department could not provide any information about Vinaiyagar’s arrest or his death.

Mother of 5 demands justice after husband’s death in police custody

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