Hundreds attend Kugan’s funeral

January 28th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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After a week of trauma, anger, and sadness, the family of Kuhan Ananthan finally laid him to rest at Puchong Batu 14 cemetery. I passed by the place (Jalan Puchong) at 6.30pm and saw the polis vehicles leaving – lorries, vans, water cannon truck, cars, and motorbikes.

The death of the alleged car theft syndicate member (?) raised tempers and questions alike. Politicians on both sides weighted in with the opinions. The non-Indian politicians also their hand at providing advice and information. MIC, PPP, and PR politicians won some brownie points over their fast response, but this was marred due to political one-upmanship, especially on Pakatan’s side, which reared its ugly head soon after the death. As I strongly belief, politicians are doing their job which include gaining maximum mileage in order to stay in their job.  They can’t avoid it since no news is bad news for them.

The events today started at UMMC mortuary. The family, accompained by hundreds of friends, well-wishers, and some politicians (Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and N. Surendran, the lawyer representing Kugan’s family) from PR (strangely, no mention of BN reps were made in any of the media providers) converged at the hospital to claim the body, which underwent second post-mortem. The police, probably spooked by news that 10,000 people (which I doubt) will be there to show their support, blocked the roads leading to the hospital.

According to Malaysiakini, 5 people (NST said 6) were arrested at the hospital – mainly for wearing HINDRAF t-shirt and scuffling with police. One of them was a suspect in a murder case.  The arrests took place between 12pm and 1.35pm. By then more than 300 people had gathered at the venue. 100 over policemen were there as well.

The hearse carrying Kugan’s body stopped at the Taipan police station for prayers (that’s a long way from UMMC! – incidentally, I passed by the police station at 11.15am today) and the funeral procession proceeded to the Batu 14 Hindu cemetery for the burial. Kugan was buried at 5.45pm. According to YB Mike, Selangor government paid for the funeral expenses (including the gold Merc?)

Below is extract from Malaysiakini report:

The scorching afternoon heat and subsequent heavy downpour failed to deter some 500 people from marching behind the golden Mercedes Benz, ferrying the remains of Kugan Ananthan who died in police custody last week.

MCPX

At about 2pm, the procession left the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Petaling Jaya en route to a Hindu cemetery in Puchong, some 20km away.

A second post-mortem was conducted at UMMC on Sunday after the family rejected the findings of the first procedure which stated that Kugan died of fluid accumulation in his lungs.

Accompanied by scores of media representatives, including foreign journalists, the procession arrived at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya some 80 minutes later.

It was here that the 22-year-old youth, whose body was riddled with severe lacerations, had collapsed and died.

The marchers, who were joined by another large group, spent about two minutes reciting a prayer and shouting slogans condemning the police for the alleged use of excessive force, before moving on.

Some 20 Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel kept a close watch while a police helicopter circled above. However, no untoward incidents were reported.

The procession reached the cemetery more than two hours later, bringing traffic to a standstill in several areas along the way while passing motorists honked to express their support.

Earlier this morning, the police had closed all roads leading to UMMC ahead of the funeral procession.

Five people were also arrested, three for wearing a T-shirt of the banned movement Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) and the other two for trying to breach a police barricade to enter the mortuary.

Among those arrested was Hindraf coordinator RS Thanenthiran.

Kugan’s remains were buried at about 5.30pm after some rites and prayers.

According to Kapar MP S Manikavasagam, the Selangor government had paid for the funeral expenses.

Extracts from The Star provide more details:

He was buried in the presence of family members and hundreds of supporters and well-wishers.

It was a day in which emotions were on edge. The drama started in the vicinity of the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Petaling Jaya when the Field Reserve Unit (FRU) and the Light Strike Force were deployed, creating a massive jam at about 9:30am.

The units were placed there in anticipation of a large crowd for the procession that would begin at the UMMC mortuary where Kugan’s body was being kept, Petaling Jaya police chief Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed said.

By 11am, that expected large crowd had materialised, even before Kugan’s family arrived at about noon.

Five men were arrested, the first two at about 12:15pm for trying to get through a barricade at the mortuary despite orders to disperse.

These arrests came after Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid had made an announcement asking the crowd disperse.

“They have been taken to the Brickfields police headquarters for questioning,” ACP Wan Abdul Bari said.

Two more were detained at about 1:40pm by plainclothes policemen for allegedly trying to incite the crowd.

All four were wearing t-shirts depicting the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force movement, or Hindraf. One is believed to be former Hindraf coordinator R.S. Thanendran.

The fifth, according to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan at a press conference later in Putrajaya, was a murder suspect who was also wearing a Hidnraf t-shirt.

Denied entry
At 12:45pm, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, Teluk Intan MP M. Manogaran, Penang Deputy Chief Minister (II) Dr P. Ramasamy and the family’s lawyer N. Surendran arrived but were denied entry into the mortuary by a UMMC security officer.

A heated exchange ensued before they were allowed in, together with Kugan’s parents and two other relatives.

Other relatives and friends were then allowed entry into the mortuary, but only in batches of five.

At a hastily-convened press conference at the scene, Manikavasagam denied online rumours that the funeral procession was going to proceed to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre to hold a demonstration.

Instead, he clarified, the procession would first proceed to Subang Jaya where a short prayer would be held at the Taipan police station in which Kugan died, before proceeding to Puchong for the funeral rites.

Meanwhile, Gobind said they were not there to cause trouble and blamed the police for blowing things out of proportion.

“We’re just here to show our support,” he said. “We’re just here to claim the body and allow Kugan’s funeral to proceed.”

Gobind also said that the second post-mortem report has been completed but the doctor who conducted it had yet to reveal anything.

… At about 1:25pm Wednesday, FRU officers came to the front of the mortuary and forced press photographers away from the scene.

Tempers flare
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok arrived as well before Kugan’s body was transferred to a hearse and driven to Subang Jaya, arriving there at about 2:50pm.

After short prayers near the Taipan police station, some people in the crowd brought out banners and posters, against earlier directives of the authorities, and began shouting accusations at the police.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar on Monday had said that police would not allow any carrying of banners or posters during Kugan’s funeral, adding that the funeral should not be politicised or turned into a racial event.

“The body should be brought straight from the mortuary to the cemetery in Puchong,” he had said, adding that if Kugan’s body was taken elsewhere, it would be considered an illegal gathering and the police would take action.

However, when faced with the angry crowd on Wednesday, the police kept calm and continued directing traffic.

The procession finally left a little after 3:00pm to proceed to the crematorium at Puchong.

Meanwhile, Waythamoorthy denounced the arrest of 5 people :

Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy said the arrests revealed police suppression of the people’s right to attend public gatherings.

“The actions of the police clearly show that they behave in a manner above the constitution,” he said in a statement.

Petaling Jaya police chief Arjunaidi Mohamed said the five were arrested while people were gathering to take part in the funeral procession earlier today.

He added that three men – including Hindraf coordinator RS Thanendran – were arrested for wearing the Hindraf T-shirt. The government had banned the movement last October.

The other two were arrested for attempting to break a police cordon to enter the UMMC mortuary.

Responding to this, Waythamoorthy said that the police action in arresting the five was uncalled for.

It also appeared that the police were being unprofessional in handling this matter, he said, pointing out to the fact that no action has been taken against the 11 police personnel under probe for Kugan’s death.

“The (alleged) murderers of Kugan are let loose on a light desk job,” he said.

He added that in any normal circumstances, murder suspects would be immediately arrested and a maximum remand order obtained.

This, he said, was usually done to facilitate investigations and to prevent suspects from tampering with evidence and hampering police investigations.

“However in the Kugan case the police suspects are given a desk job.

“And the police, the attorney-general and our Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar urge Malaysians to have faith in the system and let the cause of justice prevail,” he said.

Waythamoorthy said the police should be arresting those directly involved in the death of Kugan and not those who had come to take part in his funeral procession.

So, what’s next? Everyone is waiting for the second post-mortem report. In the mean time, expect more mud-slinging between the parties involved.

As I write this, my friend’s story comes to mind. She was robbed in broad daylight near the Balakong market last Saturday (yup, 5 days ago). She was still in her car with 1-year old baby in it, about to alight from the car. Suddenly two Indian guys “barged” into her car. One of them put a knife and spoke in Tamil. Clean shaven and well-dressed, no one would say they were robbers. My friend took off her jewelleries. A Chinese lady who witnessed the crime was calling the police. The robbers panicked and ran away with whatever they could get. She went to make police report and was shown photos of many suspects (mainly of Indians and foreigners). So, for my friend, people like Kuhan “deserve it”. I dare say those among us who were mugged, robbed etc will agree. I was mugged way back in 1990s while on the way back from university. Yeah, at the moment of anger, I’ll say kill those ********* if can. But on hindsight, they should have their day in court and receive appropriate punishment, not death all the time.

Kugan is a suspect – the police MAY have evidence saying he is one (he did lead them to the stolen cars, so surely he knew something).  But if its true, he is part of a bigger group – one that uses people like Kuhan to commit crime. Thus more effort is needed to get to the root of the syndicate.

Those who live a life of crime, will suffer a similar fate. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Like it or not, Kuhan may have some connections (either knowingly or unknowingly to him) with car theft syndicate. A lesson to be learnt here is know your friends well. Don’t mix with the wrong group  as being in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to deadly consequences.

May his soul move on to a better next life.

Om shanti shanti shanti.

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7 comments

  1. Killer says:

    Well PB, I got to say I kind of like and agree with your balanced view. I am glad that not everyone let their views tainted by emotion or race.

    Let me make it clear my stance that the culprits who caused the death must be brought to face the law and no cover-up can be tolerated by any right thinking Malaysians.

    But at the same time the deceased and his family must also share some blame for this tragedy too. The parents must have ensured that their kids are brought up the right way and not messed up with crime and criminals. If you involve in serious crime such as armed car-jacking or gangsterism, it is a matter of time that you get caught or worse still get killed by the police or other criminals. There are far more Indians who get killed by Indians than who die in the hands of police, let us keep this in perspective.

    As for the criminals, I agree that they must be dealt with legal processes. But from a practical point of view, the best we can hope for is 50% arrest rate and even lesser (perhaps only another 50% of that ) get convicted. So in the end majority of criminals get scot free. Imagine the anguish and the cost we spend on enforcing law and order and also on the loss of properties, lives,etc. The very same people who claim to uphold justice like Karpal, Surendran, Jagdip,etc are the people who use loopholes and technicalities to get some of the biggest criminals to evade the just punishment.

    Finally, as for the police. I think they are under tremendous pressure to solve the escalating crime rate. As such, there is a tendency to use torture to get confession or information. This happens all the time. What puzzles me is the injury on Kuhan’s body. I am well versed in police procedures but leaving such visible marks is something police all over the world will not do.

    In fact the cardinal rule in police beating is never to beat where it will leave marks. The point of beating in police investigation is to cause pain but no permament damage or visible marks. But the marks on Kuhan’s body is shocking. It could mean something went wrong somewhere with the USJ police or could have been caused by previous gang fights.

    Let’s wait for 2nd post-mortem.

  2. VJ says:

    I’ve a colleague whose car was hijacted by a group of Indians recently . And in a recent media news , there was a group of chinese youth robbed luxury cars from a 2nd hand car shop and torched the saleman to death in Pg . I too have seen some folks saying Kugan deserved to die . But wait , this isnt about “Kugan” . It’s about how law is perceived by the force that suppose to up hold it . Besides , as Killi V pointed out it reminds of many other similar Indian death cases projected by Uthaya before .

    Though i agree with Poobalan that PR politicians are there likely for political mileage , but we shall think differently in a way that if they’re not there then who will ? Glad MIC folks involved but they could easily be shutdown by their ‘master’ umno (you know how the botak minister warned the two MIC d.ministers) . The affected family alone cant persue on their own too as they could be shutdown by police and FRU . Simple as that . I felt relieve only when heard that PR involved maximum . I dont care if they wanna ‘show off’ . What matters to me is ‘results’ .

    About the car hijack cases …. it’s doubtful it’s a local issue . Rumours say there could be a foreign syndicate . Well , you need a ‘smart’ force to trace to solve such cases than bunch of clowns beating down a ‘kooli’ .

  3. Killer says:

    VJ

    Yes, it is not just Indians who are involved in car thefts or car jacking and most likely the masterminds are non Indians. But I also know that Indians often are the one who does the dirty work due to their “bravery”. I have seen countless cases of where Indians using extreme violence in car jacking cases. Luxury cars unlike the usual family cars are very hard to steal. In fact some cars like BMW and Mercedes are unstealable due to advanced anti-theft system. So the only way is to car jack them. The usual tactic is to rob the cars are home or office. But the horrible part is when the car is protected by biometric system, the car jackers often resort to chopping the owners’ hands. I know several Indians victims who were chopped by Indian car jackers. So these luxury car thieves are far more brutal and dangerous than usual car thieves who tend to steal parked cars.

    It is a known fact among luxury car clubs that when confronted by Indian carjackers, it is better to surrender the car as they have a very brutal reputation. BTW I am not suggesting anything abt Kuhan, this is just general discussion.

    The same with lorry and electronic parts hijacking. Though most done by Indians the masterminds tend to be Chinese or Singaporeans. I remember many cases where Indians getting caught as a part of the Federal anti-lorry hijack program (Project Copperhead I think). Almost all caught were Indians but the masterminds escaped. It seems the Indians get paid a paltry sum and face all the dangers while the bosses get away scot free.

  4. Vaenggaiyaa says:

    For once something positive was done by MIC. Kudos to youth chief D.Mogan especially, he was one of the first to be there, genuinely wanting to help the anguished family.
    Well done Devamany! I can’t help but feel that the younger batch of indian leaders of the MIC are very very much more abreast and helpful with the latest issues of the indian community. The rebranding of MIC is appreciable! And kudos also to senator Murugaiya.
    Criminal or not , murder is never justice! GREAT!! YOU GUYS ARE THERE!

  5. Killer says:

    VJ

    I am not sure who complied this but I guess it is never too late to pounce on the opportunity to milk some political mileage out of this issue….My guess is that it must be those HINDRAF goondas who now have re-started their Police Watch NGO again.

    I think most of these reports are rather biased but to be frank, I think some of these deaths looks suspicious and likely caused by PDRM. But at least some cases look to me as just baseless allegations that Uthaya and his goons are good at. I think in the interest of fairness, I need to share some additional info on these too.

    Francis Rayappan case has been investigated so many times and countless rulings went against the family yet the mother and HINDRAF refused to accept the findings.

    In one case that happened in Kelantan, I remember the police being found to be at fault by the court. Interestingly I happened to meet one of the PDRM guy involved in that shootout and he more or less admitted the mistake. The same goes for the Serdang shootout, the govt admitted the error and there was an out of court settlement.

    In any case I support the setting up of the IPMC as recommended by the Royal Commission. But knowing AAB I doubt he has the political will to push it thru. Let’s see what Najib is up to. He has some intresting ideas on reform which sounded good but it is yet to be seen if he can deliver on falter like AAB in implementing.

  6. VJ says:

    car owners should careful nowadays considering rise in such hijacking cases . My colleague lost his in the highway . Thought of some tips for car owners :
    -there are cheap steering locks in the market tht one could buy
    -when start to drive lock your doors
    -there are ‘immobilizers’ sold in the market . Bit pricey .
    -there’re 3rd party car GPS tracking devices too
    -insurance coverage on theft

    Be this issue a lesson to those other indian car jackers .
    Be this issue a lesson to all policemen.
    Be this issue a lesson to all parents . Know what your children doing outside.