KOTA BARU: The police operation to locate the graves of 12 Orang Asli from the Bateq tribe, said to have died mysteriously in Kampung Kuala Koh here over the past month, will take some time, Kelantan police chief Datuk Hasanuddin Hassan said.
He said based on information received, all 12 were said to have succumbed to a ‘mysterious disease’ in the past month but were not buried in Kampung Kuala Koh.
Instead, their remains were taken out of the village by family members.
“What is known is that the bodies were buried or placed deep in the jungles somewhere else. The police and the other agencies are trying their best to locate the burial sites.
“Such operations can be difficult, and for sure will take a long time as the bodies have been moved to quite a distance out of the village,” he told reporters at the State Police Contingent Headquarters here yesterday.
He said the General Operations Force, the Orang Asli Development Department and the Health Ministry were expected to begin the search operations very soon.
Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the ministry and other agencies will try to locate the bodies and carry out forensic tests to determine the cause of death.
The plight of the Bateq tribe in Kampung Kuala Koh came to public attention last week after two of the deceased were said to have died from pneumonia. — Bernama