Unconvinced that 39-year-old Sugumar Chelliah had mysteriously dropped dead of a heart attack after being pursued by the police, his family is determined on a second autopsy to get to the truth.

NONEWhen contacted, one of the family’s lawyers Latheefa Koya (right) said the family hopes to get the second autopsy done as soon as possible.

"We are definitely arranging a second post-mortem. We are looking for another hospital and a pathologist  who will be willing to do it. We are not sure when ... hopefully today," she said.

Latheefa added that the family was unconvinced with the first post-mortem by Serdang Hospital as the institution had a history of falsifying the post-mortem report as in the death-in-custody case of A Kugan.

In Sugumar's case, Serdang Hospital’s post-mortem concluded he died as a result of a blockage in heart and that no other injuries were found on his body.

Witnesses, however, claim that Sugumar, a security guard, was pursued by four police officers for damaging pubic property, and was subsequently handcuffed, his face smeared with turmeric powder  and  beaten to death  in which a mob joined in at Taman Pekaka, Hulu Langat.

Police cite witnesses denying beatings

In a report today, pro-government daily Utusan Malaysia quoted Selangor CID chief SAC Mohd Adnan Abdullah as saying that they had taken the statements of 11 witnesses, 10 of whom claimed that the alleged beating by the police did not take place.

NONE"One more witness was a victim who had his head knocked by the suspect (Sugumar)," Utusan quoted Mohd Adnan saying.

In response, Latheefa pointed out there were at least three witnesses who had observed the incident but the police have yet to record their statements.

Asked if they will voluntarily come forward to the police, Latheefa said, "With this kind of pressure, I am not sure if they are willing to go on their own. But we will try to get their cooperation."

She also criticised the police for declaring their personnel innocence even before a thorough investigation has been conducted.

"It looks very biased, we can't rely on such an investigation. We demand that the inspector-general of police prepare an independent team instead of repeating that they (police) are innocent," she said.

‘Police foil report lodging’

She disputed the police’s explanation of Sugumar's death, pointing out they have yet to explain the traces of turmeric powder found on the victim’s face, allegedly smeared by one of their personnel.

Latheefa added that the family yesterday attempted to lodge a police report on the matter at the Kajang district police headquarters, but their efforts were frustrated.

"The police made an issue out of it, limiting the number of the people who could go into the police station, and the OCPD did not want to cooperate.

"It was probably because the officers involved are from the same district, but the family will lodge a police report soon at another location," she said.- Malaysiakini, 26/1/2013, Sugumar's family wants prompt second autopsy