Deaths in police custody raise concerns

The lack of publicity to the recent death in police custody of M Ragubathy is simply appalling. That this comes after the death of another young man, 19-year old Tharma Rajen on June 26 under similar circumstances is doubly shocking.

From what one can piece together, both stories are similar. Both youths were picked up "on suspicion", incarcerated for days at remote jails, barred from family and contacts until death intervened to seal their fates.

Subsequently, a flurry of activities, delayed post-mortem before the bodies were released to their families. What is going on? Shouldn't the police detain individuals only when it has proof; or at least charge them in court within days upon arrest.

How many individuals are now languishing in prisons while the police is out looking for evidence ? What are the current procedures? Or have we become so blase post-Anwar's (ex-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim) incarceration and beatings that anything goes?

In any event, both Raghubathy and Tharma are no different from other Malaysians of their age hanging out with their peers at the pub, entertainments centers or visiting friends. The only difference is status: their richer brethren can carouse at the foothills of Mount Petronas Twin Towers on any given day without raising any suspicion.

Raghu and Tharma were not so lucky, leaving behind two ruined families. Can any family really put this sort of tragedy in these circumstances behind them to move on?