2 months in jail for unspecified offences unacceptable: Ramasamy
Penang deputy CM says police taking too long to decide charges against 29 detainees suspected of being TCB 21 gang members
Updated 1 hour ago · Published on 14 Nov 2020 11:00AM · 0 Comments
GEORGE TOWN – Spending more than two months behind bars for an unspecified offence is far too long in an age where people are demanding transparency and accountability, said P. Ramasamy.
The Penang deputy chief minister said police are taking too much time to decide the charges against 29 detainees suspected of being part of the TCB 21 gang.
They were allegedly involved in the September shooting of a businessman and his bodyguard in Banting. The incident resulted in the businessman’s driver losing control of the vehicle, injuring three students outside a school.
“They are technically remanded, although now, police have issued a statement saying they are (being held) under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca),” Ramasamy told The Vibes.
If the detainees have committed a wrongdoing, he said, they should be charged, and not placed under detention for non-specified offences.
“Think of their families, think of their children, and most importantly, think of Covid-19. We cannot afford to have too many inmates at a time when physical distancing and staying home are the new normal.
“The investigation must be done without fear or favour. Whether the detainees are members of TCB 21 remains unclear. They were allegedly involved in a spate of crimes, including the shooting incident, and had been detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).”
However, the court rejected the Sosma application, and now, police want them placed under Poca, he said.
“Now, police are trying to impose other draconian laws to keep them detained indefinitely. I urge the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director to ensure that those detained are treated fairly. They have yet to be charged.
“Why did police arrest them even though the court has ordered their release?
“Don’t use Sosma or Poca to derail the legal process.”
Ramasamy yesterday said in the spirit of Deepavali, police should bring closure to the case instead of keeping the detainees and their families in limbo.