Top Cop promises swift probe in police beating death of fisherman

Top  Cop promises swift probe in police beating death of fisherman

Relatives of the Meteen-Meer-Zorg fisherman who died after being badly beaten up while in police custody, stepped up their protest action outside the office of the Commissioner of Police on Monday afternoon.

The fisherman, Asif Raheem Khatoon, died last Thursday at home just a week after he was badly beaten while in the custody of police at the Leonora police station.

A post mortem report conducted on Monday morning found that the man died from multiple injuries to his head, face, chest and other parts of the body.

His wife, Soorsattie Chandrapaul is convinced that her husband died because of the blows meted out to him by the law enforcement officers.

Hours after the post mortem examination was completed, the widow along with her children and relatives mounted a loud protest for justice at the police headquarters Eve Leary. Moments after the protest began, Chandrapaul and members of her family along with Social Activist Mark Benschop, were invited to a meeting with Acting Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud.IMG_0108

As that meeting went on behind closed doors inside the police headquarters, other family members continued their protest chants on the outside.

Many of them including the dead man’s children, said they want a proper investigation to be carried out in the matter and for the policemen responsible for beating the fisherman to be placed before the courts and charged with murder.

When the dead man’s wife emerged from the meeting, she said she was pleased with the assurances given by the Police Commissioner.

According to Chandrapaul, the Top Cop promised her a proper and swift investigation to get to the bottom of the matter. She said he told her that two police officers remain in custody.

With the post mortem examination completed, the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Police Force is expected to wrap up its probe within 48 hours and forward its file to the Police Complaints Authority for recommendations and advice.

Once that is completed, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is expected to offer advice on the charges, if any, that should be laid in the matter.

Social Activist Mark Benschop, who has been consistently outspoken on police abuses over the years, witnessed the post mortem examination and he said it is clear that the man’s death is as a result of the injuries he sustained at the hands of policemen while in custody.

The fisherman was taken into custody over an argument with his wife. When the woman went to the police station to visit him the following day, she was shocked to see his blood soaked body in the police station.

1534280_10204681905985081_8685994645201697701_nThe Police officers on duty said that the man was beaten by another inmate but when the fisherman was hospitalised, he told his wife that it was the police officers who beat him during the night.

He complained that at least five police officers took turns at beating him.

On Thursday, he called his wife and requested to be taken home from the hospital. He died at home just hours after he got there.

The grieving wife said her husband was the breadwinner for the family and she is at a loss as to how she and her family will get by without him.

She said all she wants now is justice for her husband.

Family members said if they do not see action being taken in the matter over the next few days, they will step up their protest action.


Filed: 1st December, 2014

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