Brothers held under POCA physically abused, claim family

PETALING JAYA: The family of two brothers arrested by police are demanding for their immediate release from the two years’ jail sentence under the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA).

Vikram Naidu, 17, and Letchumanan Naidu, 19, were arrested on April 14, eight days after five of their friends were nabbed in Ipoh.

The five were arrested for allegedly fighting in public, but were later released after giving the names of the brothers to police.

The Naidu brothers’ lawyer, T. Shashi Devan, said he was informed on Aug 10 that they were physically abused by police during their remand from April 14 to 19.

“Their eyes were allegedly covered with duct tape and they were physically abused to make them sign a witness statement.

“They were too afraid to seek medical attention so they endured the pain,” he told reporters after passing a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) yesterday.

Vikram and Letchumanan, along with their five friends, were in Ipoh with 14 other boys aged between 17 and 24 on April 6.

The brothers were arrested on April 14 under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code (that allows for a suspect to be detained for more than 24 hours) and remanded for five days initially, and another three days before they were released on April 22.

However, on May 23, the siblings were detained under POCA for 21 days before a subsequent remand of another 38 days on June 10.

On July 21, the Naidu brothers were sentenced to two years’ jail and remanded at the Kluang Rehabilitation Centre.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Sevan Doraisamy urged Suhakam to take the matter seriously and requested the siblings be released immediately.

“POCA cannot be a tool for the police not to do a proper investigation (and) just arrest people and put (them) away in the name of prevention.

“It has to be investigated and (have) enough evidence and charge them in court,” he said.

Suhakam commissioner Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin sympathised with the brothers and their family and said she would look into the safety and welfare of the siblings.

When contacted, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police will get to the bottom of the matter.

“We will investigate, and if the allegations are true, action will be taken against my men.

“Justice will be dealt without fear or favour,” he said.

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Family & Community , suaram , suhakam , poca


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