SUNGAI BULOH: A post-mortem of 43-year-old Thanaseelan Muniandy, who died in custody, indicates he may have died due to neglect by police and medical staff.
In his report, Hospital Sungai Buloh pathologist Dr Razuin Rahimi said preliminary findings show that Thanaseelan had died from blood poisoning due to a “perforated gastric ulcer.”
Thanaseelan, 43, was found unconscious in his cell at the Bukit Sentosa lockup on Feb 25, and was later declared dead at Hospital Sungai Buloh.
According to lawyer Eric Paulsen, the deceased was already suffering from chronic gastritis before he was picked up by the police.
"His family confirmed that he was already having gastric (problems) and if you look at him, you can see that he was a skinny man. He weighed less than 50kg. There appears to have been no foul play, but there seems to have been a certain degree of neglect,” he said at Hospital Sungai Buloh on Monday.
Paulsen said that the pathologist said the deceased would have been in chronic pain for about a week.
"With the ulcer and all, he was consequently unable to eat and started throwing up, which is why he was brought to the Kuala Kubu Baru Hospital on Feb 24," said Paulsen.
He added that it is unknown as to whether Thanaseelan received a full physical examination by a doctor at Hospital Kuala Kubu Baru on Feb 24, or whether he was just given antacids to manage the pain.
Paulsen said that Thanaseelan could have been diagnosed properly and treated, but added that this has to be investigated.
"We need to find out if he received treatment at the hospital This is because after that, he was brought back to his cell in Bukit Sentosa, and if you know someone is ill, he or she should be kept in the hospital to be treated," said Paulsen.
Checks with the hospital confirmed that Thanaseelan was not warded on Feb 24, but the outpatient department could not confirm if he was brought in for treatment.
Thanaseelan was arrested in Bukit Beruntung on Feb 21 for alleged burglary and was remanded from Feb 22 to Feb 25.
His wife S. Piremilah claims that he was due to be released, but was however found dead in his cell at 1.50am on Feb 25.