COMMENT | In the case of S Balamurugan, who died from “multiple blunt force trauma” injuries in police custody on Feb 8, there were a number of breaches in standard police procedure (as defined by the police themselves, not any outsiders).
Firstly, as he was arrested in the evening, he should have been taken directly to the Shah Alam Centralised Lockup, rather than the Bandar Baru Klang police station.
In fact, the first oddity is that Balamurugan was brought to the Bandar Baru Klang police station at all, given that he was arrested by officers from the North Klang police headquarters, in a case with an investigating officer from North Klang as well (more on this later).
Even if he was held at the Bandar Baru Klang police station, he should not have under any circumstances been subject to any questioning beyond his personal details for the purpose of very basic documentation.
Having police officers - whether from the Bandar Baru Klang police station or elsewhere - interrogate Balamurugan, during that particular time and in that particular place, was a clear and blatant breach of police directives.
It would have been wrong in the daytime, and it was doubly wrong in the nighttime.
ASP Harun (officer in charge at the Bandar Baru Klang police station) stated he knew that officers from the North Klang District Headquarters were involved in Balamurugan’s arrest.
ASP Harun also stated that had he known the officers were from the Serious Crimes Division, he would not have allowed the interrogation to take place.
This is a little perplexing. By law, no interrogations whatsoever were technically supposed to be allowed in the Bandar Baru Klang police station. It should not matter who was intending to do the interrogations...