Frustrated with police refusal to agree to a second autopsy on the body of security guard C Sugumaran, PKR has vowed to carry a coffin in a symbolic protest to the Home Ministry in Putrajaya on Feb 4.
"We shall take a coffin to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's office. The coffin symbolises the murder of the rakyat by the government," vice-president N Surendran (left) told Malaysiakini today.
"(Sugumaran's) family is disheartened, but will continue to fight for justice and ask for a post- mortem. They will not inter the body. We will fight on."
Witnesses have claimed that Sugumaran had been pursued by four police officers on Jan 23 after he allegedly damaged pubic property.
They are said to have handcuffed him, smeared his face with turmeric powder and beaten him to death, joined by a mob, in Taman Pekaka, Hulu Langat. The police have denied the claims.
At 8pm tomorrow, supporters and Sugumaran's family will hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Kajang police district headquarters. They will all be pall-bearers in the 'coffin protest'.
Earlier today, Surendran had led some 30 people in a peaceful sit-down protest in front of the Bukit Aman police headquarters from 11am.
Latheefa Koya, the lawyer representing Sugumaran's family, said the group had demanded that the police issue instructions for a second post-mortem and to classify the case as murder.
"We have been here since this morning. The police only sent some public relations officers to meet us," said Latheefa, who is also PKR legal bureau chief.
"But we sent them back because we only want to meet with the representatives of the investigations department."
She said the protesters carried placards reading 'Najib tindas masyarakat India' (Najib is supressing the Indian community) and 'Rakyat dizalimi, kuasa disalahgunakan' (People are mistreated, power is abused).
Others present were PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, parliamentarian S Manikavasagam (Kapar), M Manogaran (Teluk Intan) and Che Rosli Che Mat (Hulu Langat), PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan, Suaram executive director E Nalini and Malaysians for Beng Hock coordinator Ng Yap Hwa.
Sugumaran's mother, K Manimagalay, was also present.
Surendran said the group dispersed about 4.30pm, after finally meeting with a CID legal adviser.
Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Majid today rejected the family's demand to classify the death as a murder case.
He said that the cause will instead be investigated through an inquest in open court, based on the fact that Sugumaran was still handcuffed when his body was found, he explained.
Additional reporting by Abdul Rahim Sabri .