Malaysian Indian woman sues government for detention

November 15th, 2008 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Ipoh (Malaysia), Nov 15 (IANS) An ethnic Indian woman who spent 11 months at an immigration depot on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant has sued the government for RM6 million ($150,000 approx.) for her suffering while under detention.M. Rajeshvari named as defendants the government and six others, including Home Minister Syed Hamid Syed Albar and Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan.

The suit was filed by her lawyer A. Magesan, also an ethnic Indian, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry Thursday.

The case of Rajeshvari, 22, with her one-year-old son Ilavarasan, and her parents, A. Murugiah and M. Parameswari was highlighted by Negri Sembilan state’s Health, Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman (minister) A. Sivanesan.

Rajeshvari is claiming general damages for “trespass, harassment, unlawful detention, pain and suffering” and special and exemplary damages with eight percent interest from the date of arrest and other relief deemed fit by the court.

A resident of Kampar in the state, Rajeshvari was six months pregnant when she was detained.

“The child will grow up to find out that his mother was under detention for no fault of hers. The whole episode could have been avoided if police had taken the thumbprint of the woman and verified it with the National Registration Department,” said Sivanesan.

Rajeshvari was arrested at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur Nov 10 last year. She spent several days in a police lock-up and was then sent to the depot. She was released on Sep 5.

Rajeshvari claimed she had told police she was a Malaysian and that she could not recall her identity card number as she had lost it. Police promised to get her thumbprint to facilitate investigations but failed to do so, The New Straits Times said Saturday.

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