Family of teen put in lock-up wants to sue


  • Nation
  • Monday, 26 May 2003

BY A. LETCHUMANAN AND BEH YUEN HUI

PETALING JAYA: The family of a 17-year-old boy, who was handcuffed and placed in a lock-up for several hours, are contemplating taking legal action against police for their alleged “high-handedness.” 

However, the police said they had the discretion to handcuff juveniles, especially if they behave in a threatening manner. 

K. Krishna Kumar said he were unhappy with the police for handcuffing his son and making him strip to his underwear at the Bukit Idaman police station on May 18. 

He said his son, whose future is now marred, had done nothing wrong. “The police should apologise or he will seek legal redress,” he added. 

The Form Five student was looking after his father’s video outlet at Selayang Baru when three plainclothes policemen entered at 8pm. 

“My son was handcuffed when he tried to explained that I was away and he could call me to come back,” Krishna said. 

Krishna has also lodged a report to register his protest over the action of the police. 

Selayang MIC Youth chief P. Kamalanathan, who is assisting the family, said the police should apologise for this kind of “high-handed action” against innocent people. 

“Why did they (police) not think of the boy’s future? He had not committed any offence but was only manning the shop. Putting him with criminals is wrong and unacceptable,” he added. 

Selangor DAP chief M. Manoharan has urged the Attorney-General to take stern action the policemen who handcuffed the boy. 

“The law clearly stipulates that a juvenile should not be handcuffed and should be placed in a special room and not in a lock-up. The police have misused their powers,” he said, adding that handcuffing a juvenile was against human rights and the Federal Constitution. 

Manoharan, who is the Selangor Legal Aid Bureau Committee chief, said there was a precedent where the Government and the police had to pay substantial damages over a 13-year-old girl who was handcuffed and detained in a cell with another woman in Petaling Jaya several years ago. 

Gombak OCPD Asst Comm Massari Hashim said policemen could use their discretion whether to handcuff a juvenile especially if he became aggressive. 

On why the boy was forced to strip to his underwear, he said this was part of the lock-up rules that detainees were only allowed to wear short pants or underwear. 

He said that the police team had to detain the boy as he was manning the shop at the time of the raid.  

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