Health Ministry to probe ‘genuine mistake’
> Sources: Cops pursued fleeing doctor as his frame resembled that of suspect
KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry is conducting an internal probe on the alleged police assault of a doctor, who was mistaken for a robber last Friday, to determine the factors that led to the incident.
Ministry deputy director-general (medical) Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran said yesterday that he had ordered a probe into the incident which was front-paged by theSun on Wednesday.
In describing the case as “very unfortunate” and empathising with the victim, he said a preliminary report showed that the policemen, who are members of an elite federal police team, had reacted by pursuing the 28-year-old after he defied police orders not to flee.
“We learnt that the police were there to ambush a group of criminals. When the police ordered the doctor to stop, he continued running in the direction of the suspected criminals. When he fell and the police caught up with him, he allegedly started punching the policemen, leaving the police no choice but to apprehend him,” he told theSun when contacted.
Jeyaindran said although the victim told them he was a doctor and was wearing the appropriate garb, police had to take him to the police station as part of police procedures to verify this.
“It was a misunderstanding and is a very unfortunate incident. We have to wait for the conclusive findings of the police as well to get both sides of the story,” he said.
Jeyaindran said, however, though not a major issue, the doctor should have notified his colleague or superior when he stepped out of the building for his break to avoid unexpected problems like this.
“His superiors were unaware of the incident until they received a call from the police,” he said.
Jeyaindran also agreed that the police should not be solely blamed over the incident as they were merely doing what they did best. “I think this should be treated as a learning experience for both parties.” Sepang police chief ACP Abdul Aziz Ali said the case was a “genuine mistake”. “What can we expect the policemen to do when someone runs after being told not to? They had to counter such a reaction.” He said the police had clearly identified themselves when they arrived and told everyone at the stall not to run as they were there to catch a group of criminals. “We will continue our investigations and be fair to both sides,” he told theSun. Sources said investigators also discovered police had also pursued the doctor as his physique resembled that of a suspect of the gang they had come to nab.
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