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Rawang shootings: What actually took place?

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Aliran is deeply concerned over the recent Rawang shootings, which claimed the lives of three men.

The three killed were S Mahendran, 23, G Thavaselvan, 31, and Sri Lankan national V Janarthanan, 40. A fourth person, G Moganambal, 35 – who is Janarthanan’s wife and Thavaselvan’s sister – was allegedly at the scene but is now missing.

According to the police, the three men, alleged to have been involved in an armed robbery, were killed during an exchange of fire. Police said a search of their vehicle found two semi-automatic handguns, three machetes and face masks. 

But subsequent media reports have highlighted the conflicting narratives between the police and the families of the deceased.

The families of the deceased have disputed the police allegations that the three men were involved in criminal activity. The families instead claimed that the four had gone out for dinner in Serdang before they were allegedly “kidnapped” and shot at by police in Batu Arang, Rawang.

The conflicting narratives are bizarre and unacceptable.

While criminal activity in the country is a cause for deep concern, police shootings resulting in the deaths of alleged criminal suspects have also raised concern.

This is not the first time police shootings have taken place. Time and again the issue of police professionalism is raised.

The inspector general of police has announced that an inquest will be held into the shooting of the three men in Rawang.

Meanwhile, the father of the siblings – the deceased Thavaselvvan and missing Moganambal – has apparently released a video that may assist in getting at the truth. The video must be thoroughly investigated.

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The answers being sought will not bring the men back – but they could reveal what actually happened that night and shed some light on Moganambal’s whereabouts.

The cost of these lost lives to the affected families, especially their children, is simply unimaginable.

Aliran executive committee

22 September 2019

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