Singapore, May 23 (IANS) The death of a 32-year-old Indian-origin man while in police custody in Malaysia has now been classified as a murder.
N. Dharmendran had died Tuesday while he was in a lock-up at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.
According to city police chief Mohmad Salleh, the post-mortem report showed that Dharmendran might have been murdered while in police custody, local media reported Thursday.
"The case has been forwarded to (federal police headquarters at) Bukit Aman and we have received instructions to classify the investigation under murder," Salleh was quoted as saying.
He said that an investigator from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the police headquarters would be appointed to probe the matter.
Dharmendran, a lorry driver, was detained May 13 along with three others to assist the police in an investigation into a May 11 shooting incident in the Bandar Tun Razak area of Kuala Lumpur in which two other Indian-origin men had sustained injuries.
Kuala Lumpur CID chief Ku Chin Wah had earlier said that Dhamendran had complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital for treatment but was pronounced dead on arrival at 9 p.m.
However, Dhamendran's wife, Mary Soosay, was unconvinced that her husband died of a heart attack.
"I received call at 7.45 p.m. (Tuesday) and they told me that my husband had an asthma attack and that he was in serious condition. They asked us to check with the hospital," she said.
She said that when she called the hospital, she was told that her husband has not been admitted.
Only later she came to know that Dharmendra's body was lying in the hospital's mortuary.
According to the reports, Dharmendran's body had injury marks all over, including staple marks in the ear lobes.
Meanwhile, N. Surendran, a lawyer and a Malaysian Indian political leader, has demanded a full investigation by the country's home ministry and the police into the matter.