Routine raid, fatal end: Did excessive force lead to man's death in Langkawi?
Video fuels allegations of police brutality in LangkawiSINAR DAILY REPORTER
SHAH ALAM - A routine police roundup in Langkawi took a tragic turn when an attempted arrest escalated into a scuffle, resulting in the death of a man identified as Mohd Hafiz Salleh.
This incident has sparked national attention, adding to a challenging week for the police force already marred by allegations of misconduct, rape, and now, alleged assault leading to murder.
What actually transpired?
A video describing a group of at least seven policemen in plainclothes were seen using force while arresting a man believed to Hafiz.
One of them was seen kicking the man's back before they handcuffed him and took him away.
In the later part of the video, Hafiz was warded in the ICU before he succumbed to injuries two days later.
Why police decided to arrest Hafiz?
Hafiz was reportedly apprehended by a police team from the Langkawi Narcotics Crime Investigation Department after exhibiting suspicious behaviour.
A struggle ensued during the arrest, resulting in injuries to Hafiz.
Subsequent examinations revealed the presence of a small amount of heroin in his possession, leading to drug-related investigation.
What did Kedah Police Chief said?
Kedah Chief Police Datuk Fisol Salleh assured the public of a comprehensive investigation, stressing the participation of both police officers and civilian witnesses.
At a press conference held at the Kedah Police Headquarters, Fisol said that thirteen individuals, including six police officers and seven civilians present at the scene, provided statements to facilitate the investigation. The inspection uncovered a piece of straw containing a powder suspected to be heroin, weighing approximately 0.21 grammes, found in the suspect's right front pocket.
The case was investigated under Section 12(2) Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952.
Following the arrest, the suspect was taken to Langkawi district police headquarters for further action.
Preliminary urine tests confirmed the presence of morphine-type drugs, leading to an investigation under Section 15(1)(a) DDA1952. Subsequently, the suspect was transported to Kuah Langkawi Health Clinic for treatment of injuries sustained during the altercation.
However, he collapsed and lost consciousness at the clinic.
Later, the suspect was referred to Sultanah Maliha Hospital, Langkawi and detained in the red zone ward of the emergency department, where he was pronounced dead.
Hafiz's sister, identified as Salwana Salleh, took to Facebook to demand an explanation from the police regarding the incident captured in a viral video.
Confirming her brother's death in a Facebook post on Friday, Salwana said that the body had been sent to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Star for a postmortem before being returned to Langkawi for the funeral.
"Pray for my brother, pray for justice. We seek justice as Malaysians living in a country governed by laws. Let's pray for God's guidance in all matters," she wrote.
What happened to the personnel allegedly involved in 'police brutality incident'?
Police have reclassified the probe into the death of Hafiz from sudden death to causing death and murder.
Fisol said he had ordered the investigation to be reclassified under Section 304 and Section 302 of the Penal Code after an initial post-morterm examination result revealed that the deceased had died from a blunt force trauma to the head.
Fisol said to date, police have recorded statements from all six policemen involved in the arrest and seven eyewitnesses.