Custodial deaths seem to have become a weekly affair of late.

The latest incident involves lorry driver Umar Faruq Abdullah @ Hemanathan, 36, who died at the Klang Selatan district police headquarters just a day after being arrested.

According to Free Malaysia Today (FMT), Umar was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly stealing a gas cylinder and was remanded for four days to assist investigations.

The police claim that the accused was being taken down from the third floor to the first floor of the building after questioning yesterday, with his hands cuffed behind his back, when he scuffled with a policeman on the second floor and jumped out through a window on the staircase.

Initial report said he died of "severe facial injuries".

The deceased's family, however, is not buying it. Lawyer M Manoharan, representing Umar's family, asked the cops to probe what really went on prior to the father of three jumping to his death.

He told FMT that the public prosecutor should charge the policeman who accompanied Umar during the incident, with manslaughter, or at least, criminal negligence.

According to Manoharan, Umar was arrested by the police on Wednesday evening while he was at home with his wife in Kuala Selangor.

The woman, Humairah Abdullah @ Kannagi, 25, was asked to bring some food to the accused as he had not eaten since his arrest. She waited until yesterday afternoon, only to find him being taken away in an ambulance.

Manoharan said Humairah does not believe Umar would have jumped to his death as he really loved his children, aged between six months and five years.

Umar's post-mortem is scheduled to take place this morning.

This is the fourth custodial death reported in the last two months.

Cow's milk trader A Ganapathy, died at the Intensive Care Unit of the Selayang Hospital on April 18 after being detained by the Gombak police. He had one of his legs amputated, and suffered from kidney-related issues, during hospitalisation.

Security guard S Sivabalan, 42, died on May 20, just about an hour after he was detained by the Gombak police.

On May 27, Surendran Shanker, 21, died at the Kluang Hospital after being held at the Simpang Renggam prison in Johor. He had complained of severe abdominal pain prior to his death.

Source: FMT & Malaysiakini
Photo source: Malaysiakini