Sunday, May 04, 2008

Death of a suspect

Buried deep in the inner pages of the Nation newspaper's Sunday edition is a disquieting story: the suspect in the Jeyaraj Fernandopulle assassination has died in police custody.

According to the newspaper the CID has ruled out foul play in the death of the suspect Nadarajah Raji.

Rather like Solomon Grundy, she took ill three days after she was arrested and died at the National Hospital. According to the CID they believe she had hidden a cyanide capsule in a 'private part of her body'. She had been searched thoroughly on arrest and received no visitors during her detention.

The postmortem claimed that she died of cyanide poising. How the cyanide was administered is not known nor were there any details as to further observations on the condition of the suspect.

Now this is rather strange. The whole purpose behind the Tigers introducing the cyanide capsule was to prevent its agents from falling into custody and revealing secrets. The Tigers were supposed to swallow the capsule immediately on capture, not wait three days after to decide to wake up and swallow the capsule. Even assuming that the absent minded Tiger forgot to take his capsule on time, how does she manage to take it when under observation?

All very mysterious but foul play has now been firmly ruled out and the matter looks to be swept under the carpet. One more brutal little incident in a brutish little corner of the world.

Did I say brutish? Sorry I meant culmination of the most pristine civilisation, 2500 years of it, no less.


Jerry said...

This is 'just another incident'. And this particular incident is even more forgettable because the person involved is a 'suspected terrorist'. No one cares whether some guy is killed by the police when they find it hard to feed themselves.

Atticus said...

Reminds me of FR applications that are brought before the Supreme Court where the police say that the detainee "tripped and fell" etc - hence the bruises and other injuries. Words fail me

human said...

That's very clever of you to spot this jackpoint! I really mean it!

We Tamils know very well what this is all about. But I am surprised that this was actually reported in a newspaper. After every bomb they round a a few 'suspects'. And they have this habit of dieing in custody. The papers always report the arrest. But the death in custody is not mostly not mentioned. even if it is then it will be a tiny item in some cornet that is very easy to miss.

I remember this story of a young girl who died in custody a few years ago. I got to know that the 'LTTE suspect' was actually a civilian from a village in the North who had nothing to do with the organization. She was from a poor family. She was hoping to go abroad.

This happens all the time. Rich people with the right contacts always make a big fuss and contact HR agencies and ministers etc. But the poor, who make up the overwhelming majority of the Tamil population, suffer silently. They are the ones who die in custody.

It happens all the time. If you are Tamil you would come across the other side of the story every now and then.But you being a Sinhalese living in Colombo with little or no contact with people in the North and East,I am really amazed that you are spotting things like this.