At 5.10pm on 16th July, 2009, Malaysiakini first reported on the tragic death of Teoh Beng Hock.
Later that same night, a vigil was held outside the MACC HQ in Shah Alam attended by about 500 people, angered and horrified by Teoh’s death, the circumstances surrounding the same, and the pathetic attempt on the part of the MACC to distance itself from any culpability for this young man’s tragic end.
By the morning of the next day, it bacame clear that the general public had not bought into the insensitive suggestion by a crass and callous minister that Teoh had leapt to his death.
The public wanted answers and relentlessly and loudly made this known.
What the public did not then know was that shortly after Teoh’s death was first reported by Malaysiakini, another, just slightly older than Teoh but differently circumstanced, died in police custoody.
R. Gunasegaran, aged 31, worked as a shop assistant in a toddy shop in Sentul.
On the evening of 16th July, Gunasegaran, along with several others, was arrested by an anti-dadah team.
The arrestees were all taken to the Sentul police station.
Two days later, on Saturday the 18th of July, the family of Gunasegaran was informed by the police that he was dead.
Cause of death?
According to the police, drug-related causes.
The burial permit, issued by the hospital authorities, narrates the same.
Drug-related causes, the burial permit declares, besides confirming that Gunasegaran was dead on arrival.
The family was due to remove the body on Monday, 2oth July, for cremation, but inclement weather made this impossible.
Divine intervention, it would seem, given the information that came to the family of Gunasegaran soon after.
Eye-witnesses to Guna’s arrest and detention at the police station have given a version of events starkly at variance with the official account.
Guna, they say, was assaulted by the police at the time of arrest.
At the police station, again, Guna was assaulted.
This time, though, with such severity that Guna fell and lost consciousness.
Guna, they say, never regained consciousness.
The family have since requested for a copy of the post-mortem report.
A post-mortem must already have been performed given the response to the family’s request for a copy of that report.
The family have been told to first arrange for the body to be removed from the mortuary, and then make application for the report, which will then be delivered in about two months.
You can well appreciate the dilemma of the family.
Why is gunasegaran dead?
Or police bashing?
At a press conference today, the sister of the deceased, Madam Gowri demanded for a copy of the post-mortem report, if in fact such a procedure has been carried out, and that an inquest into Gunasegaran’s death be carried out.
A group of concerned citizens, comprising lawyers and activists, have come together to assist the family to get at the truth of Gunasegaran’s death and, if foul play is established, to seek justice for the family and the deceased.
This evening, solicitors wrote to the police on behalf of the family requesting a copy of the report, on the presumption that a post-mortem has been carried out.
It is not expected that the report will be forthcoming, even if there is one.
The family, meanwhile, are anxious to remove the body for cremation.
Teoh Beng Hock’s inquest is due to start tomorrow.
Notwithstanding all the reservations many feel about the utility of the impending inquest in Teoh’s case, it nonetheless must give some hope that his loved ones may yet discover the truth of why Teoh is now dead.
What of the family of Gunasegaran?
Tomorrow, or in the days to come, a decision may have to be made to remove Gunasegaran’s body from the mortuary at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital to be take to another hospital facility for post-mortem.
We are given to understand that this procedure would cost around RM3,000.00
The family of Gunasegaran are not people of means.
Will you help to bear the cost of the post-mortem?
If you care to, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for details