The Online Citizen

Mother of Dinesh Raman files statement of claims against S’pore government

September 11
13:14 2013

By Andrew Loh -

The mother of a former prison inmate has filed a Writ of Summons against the Singapore Government for aggravated damages in the inmate’s death while in police custody.

dineshprotrait

Portrait of Dinesh Raman

Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah died from positional asphyxia on 27 September 2010 while in Changi Prison, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which had conducted an internal investigation into the death.

Deputy Superintendent Lim Kwo Yin, the supervising officer when the incident which led to Dinesh Raman’s death happened, was the only one charged for the death. It was reported that 8 officers in total were involved in restraining Dinesh Raman in the incident which led to his death.

Lim subsequently pled guilty to “causing death by a negligent act” and was fined S$10,000 by the courts on 19 July 2013.

The government has accepted liability for the death and said it “will compensate the family.” It said it had also started discussions with the family about this.

Dinesh Raman’s family, however, has rejected the government’s findings and had requested the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to instruct the Coroner to re-open his inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death. The Coroner had discontinued his inquiry on 24 July after the MHA disclosed its findings into the death, and after Lim was found guilty by the courts.

The AGC has since denied the family’s request.

Dinesh Raman’s mother, Selvi Narayanasamy, filed a court application on 21 August to ask the court to compel the Coroner to re-open the inquiry. The case is pending before the courts.

In her latest court action, Selvi Narayanasamy is accusing the prison officers of abusing their positions of authority, that they “ignored the physical symptoms” exhibited by Dinesh as he was being restrained, and “continued their assault on Dinesh”, leading to his death.

It was reported in the press that “it took 8 officers” to restrain Dinesh Raman in a “fierce struggle” which lasted “30 minutes”. (link)

“Consequently, Dinesh sustained severe injuries from which he passed away on 27 September 2010,” Selvi Narayansamy says.

“[Dinesh] died an unnatural death as a result of the oppressive assault by the Prison Service Officers while in lawful custody of the Prison Service,” her writ added.

She is also contesting the government’s claims that her son’s act of kicking a prison officer, which apparently was the incident which led to him being restrained and eventually leading to his death, was “unprovoked”.

In her writ, Selvi Narayanasamy relates what took place on the morning her son died.

Between 7.30am and 7.45am on 27 September 2010, prison officer Sgt Yen Chia Hsien said to Dinesh Raman at cell 555, “Dinesh, long time never see you. Now you come back, you become a suicidal [sic] watch.”

It is believed that Dinesh Raman had been put on suicide watch because he was reported to have tried to commit suicide earlier, a view which his family rejects.

“The words meant and/or were understood by Dinesh to mean that Sgt Yen was partial against him,” the writ says.

Upon hearing Sgt Yen’s remarks, Dinesh Raman reportedly replied, “Sir, you got something against me, is it?”

“Dinesh then turned away from Sgt Yen and, as he turned away, he gestured his middle finger at Sgt Yen and uttered a vulgarity,” the writ explained. “Sgt Yen verbally reported the incident to DSP Darius [Lim Kwo Yin]. However, no written report was lodged.”

At about 9.45am, Dinesh Raman was let out of his cell to go to the outdoor yard for an hour of outdoor time, although he was not supposed to be allowed to do so that day.

At 10.45am, the writ says, “because of the incident that occurred earlier in the morning, as Dinesh was returning from the Outdoor Yard to his cell… he was accosted by Sgt Jonathan and then tackled by Sgt Yen onto the ground.”

“Sgt Jonathan applied the Oleoresin Capsicum Delivery System (OCDS) [pepper spray] and applied the same onto Dinesh’s face,” Selvi Narayanasamy’s writ says. “Sgt Jonathan then placed both his knees against the side of Dinesh’s head and applied pressure. Consequently, Dinesh was unable to breathe. At the same time, Dinesh was also weakened by the OCDS. His eyes became red and there was mucus coming out from his nose. All these physical symptoms were ignored. He was then handcuffed to his back and placed in a prone position.”

What followed were various officers being deployed and taking turns to restrain Dinesh Raman as he was subdued and taken to another cell – DHU Cell Number 1.

Later, when he was brought to the Outdoor Yard, Dinesh Raman was “drooling from his mouth,” the writ says. “Again, this physical symptom was ignored.”

While still being restrained by the officers, he “was brought to stand in front of two rows of inmates and then instructed to continuously shout (each time louder than the previous) using vulgar language in Hokkien and directed at a notorious [secret society] gang.”

As he was being brought to DHU Cell Number 1, he was put on the floor in prone position 4 times at various points along the way, all the while being restrained by various means by the officers.

Upon reaching DHU Cell Number 1, Dinesh Raman was put in a prone position on the floor for a 5th time, according to Selvi Narayanasamy’s writ.

“While in DHU Cell Number 1, one of the Prison Service Officers then poured water on Dinesh’s face but there was no response from him. More water was poured onto Dinesh’s face. However, there was still no response from Dinesh. DSP Darius then gave instructions to all the Prison Service Officers in DHU Cell Number 1 to leave the cell, leaving Dinesh unattended.”

“Dinesh’s body was presenting adverse physical symptoms,” the writ says. “The Prison Service Officers ignored the physical symptoms and continued their assault on Dinesh.”

The prison officers named in the writ are:

  • Deputy Superintendent of Prison Lim Kwo Yin Darius.
  • Deputy Superintendent of Prison Harry Yap Hong Hock
  • Assistant Superintendent of Prison Teo Chong Lian Dylan
  • Chief Warden Daljit Singh s/o Gurbachan Singh
  • Chief Warden Rozairudin Bin Zaini
  • Sergeant Yen Chia Hsien
  • Sergeant Tan Heng Chye Marcus
  • Sergeant Lee Fangwei Jonathan
  • Corporal Anand Pereira
  • Corporal Robby bin Sulaiman

On 12 August, after the conclusion of the criminal case against Lim, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it had “initiated disciplinary action against the superintendent, supervisors and other officers involved in the incident.”

The ministry has not disclosed what these disciplinary actions are.

Lawyer M Ravi, counsel for Selvi Narayanasamy, explains why the family is seeking aggravated damages:

“Our case is that a prison officer had been angered by Dinesh, who had shown him the middle finger and uttered a vulgarity at him.  They then let Dinesh out to the yard (when he was not supposed to be in the yard that day), when that prison officer who had been angered set upon Dinesh and assaulted him.  Other prison officers joined in the assault.  When they brought him to the cell, they knew he was already unconscious and unresponsive.  He was deliberately left in the cell with no effort to resuscitate him.”

“In other words we want the government to admit liability based on our version of the facts and not the government’s version.”

“The actions by the officers were not merely a negligent act but deliberate and intentional. This is diametrically opposed to the way that the government has presented its account of the circumstances of Dinesh’s death.”

View here for the writ  filed

 
  • Pius Gilbert Louis

    Dinesh was murdered. I was wrongly incarcerated for more than 4 years and I can state openly that there are many many other cases similar to Dinesh but the authorities have covered up the truth. These other unfortunate poor souls did not have family or regular visitors, hence no one to ask questions. The Prisons have blood on their hands with the full knowledge of the government (ISD). One day the truth will be revealed and I pray at that time those who are responsible will have to pay a price.

    • Ben Shigure Ho

      “Then there was Pius Gilbert Louis, who sought Mr Anandan’s help to appeal against his conviction and six-year imprisonment.

      Louis had bashed his ex-wife’s lawyer Halijah Mohamad in 2002, in front of a Family Court judge.

      However, Mr Anandan rejected the case. He said: ‘Harry Elias has a strong family law practice. The firm didn’t want to appear as though it was siding someone who bashed a lawyer and had no respect for the court.’”

      http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Story/A1Story20071101-33656.html

  • dinah sim

    Just have a look at his face….the story tells. Can’t see why he can be restrained with pepper spray? Perhaps the officers themselves behaved like Gangsters. Am sure the truth needs to be reviewed. The Prison Officers forgot “we all make mistakes” no one is perfect. But that does mean that prisoners should be treated like a piece of shit. In Australia, after being pepper sprayed, the officers here always offered bottle water to rinse the eyes of the criminals. Take a look at how the criminals are treated. The respect of first aid is always there even though they are criminals. Wake up Hotel Changi……

  • dinah sim

    Just have a look at his face….the story tells. Can’t see why he can be restrained with pepper spray? Perhaps the officers themselves behaved like Gangsters. Am sure the truth needs to be reviewed. The Prison Officers forgot “we all make mistakes” no one is perfect. But that does mean that prisoners should be treated like a piece of shit. In Australia, after being pepper sprayed, the officers here always offered bottle water to rinse the eyes of the criminals. Take a look at how the criminals are treated. The respect of first aid is always there even though they are criminals. Wake up Hotel Changi……

  • Acitizen

    The truth has to be revealed! Any misconduct and wrongdoings by anyone should be dealt with in the light of the public. Justice has got to be served and preserved to maintain public confidence in the legal system.

  • Acitizen

    The truth has to be revealed! Any misconduct and wrongdoings by anyone should be dealt with in the light of the public. Justice has got to be served and preserved to maintain public confidence in the legal system.

  • comenclean

    whoever in the wrong, please come clean the hawker center roof… its dirty yet again…

  • comenclean

    whoever in the wrong, please come clean the hawker center roof… its dirty yet again…

  • Anonymous

    Prisons custody, not police custody…

    • Sunny Sooi

      What are differnces between, prison, police, ISD and military custodies? Which is the most cruel? Do all the prison guards of the various custodies have any common traits and in what way are they different? Which one is well known to be the most chia lat? Just to cite one example, but outside Singapore, the prsoner of war camps run by the German Luftwaffe or German Air Force during the last World War is not as bad as the ones run by the Army. Of course the ones run by the body (cannot recollect) for the Jews during the Nazi era were the worst as they were literally death camps. Coming back to the Singapore situation, can we rate the degree of cruelty of the various custodies and I mean by using a rough yardstick. Of course,information on the conditions of the varioius custodies is very difficult to obtain as the people who work in such places had been told to keep their traps shut. At the end of the day, the public is in the dark on the methods of cruelty and the standard operating procedures carried out within the four walls of such custodial places.

  • Anonymous

    Prisons custody, not police custody…

    • Sunny Sooi

      What are differnces between, prison, police, ISD and military custodies? Which is the most cruel? Do all the prison guards of the various custodies have any common traits and in what way are they different? Which one is well known to be the most chia lat? Just to cite one example, but outside Singapore, the prsoner of war camps run by the German Luftwaffe or German Air Force during the last World War is not as bad as the ones run by the Army. Of course the ones run by the body (cannot recollect) for the Jews during the Nazi era were the worst as they were literally death camps. Coming back to the Singapore situation, can we rate the degree of cruelty of the various custodies and I mean by using a rough yardstick. Of course,information on the conditions of the varioius custodies is very difficult to obtain as the people who work in such places had been told to keep their traps shut. At the end of the day, the public is in the dark on the methods of cruelty and the standard operating procedures carried out within the four walls of such custodial places.

  • Jason Wong

    It is important for the truth to be told and all responsible for the mishandling be taken to task. The family needs a closure, no matter how badly the person had treated his family when he was alive.

  • Jason Wong

    It is important for the truth to be told and all responsible for the mishandling be taken to task. The family needs a closure, no matter how badly the person had treated his family when he was alive.

  • Gabriel Tan

    I heard that Pritam is going to file a suit against the government over Dinesh’s wrongful death. He will also raise it in parliament. Sit back and enjoy the show.

  • Gabriel Tan

    I heard that Pritam is going to file a suit against the government over Dinesh’s wrongful death. He will also raise it in parliament. Sit back and enjoy the show.

  • Justice be served

    The way the whole affair was handled, strongly suggest that the whole truth has not been revealed. There are several basic questions which have not been answered and yet the AG refuses to reopen the coroner’s enquiry.

    1. Why did it take so long for the case to be mentioned? It the case was so simple the judge can pass judgment without a coroner’s enquiry; it should not have taken so long in the first place.
    2. What was the role of the other officers?
    3. Was an autopsy done? When was it done and was the family given a copy
    4. Was the CCTV evidence examined and did the AG view it.
    5. Were the other inmates interviewed by investigators?
    6. Was the police involved in the investigation?

    All this just leads to the question as to how many inmates have died in prison. Have there been other cases of death by lying in a prone position?

  • Justice be served

    The way the whole affair was handled, strongly suggest that the whole truth has not been revealed. There are several basic questions which have not been answered and yet the AG refuses to reopen the coroner’s enquiry.

    1. Why did it take so long for the case to be mentioned? It the case was so simple the judge can pass judgment without a coroner’s enquiry; it should not have taken so long in the first place.
    2. What was the role of the other officers?
    3. Was an autopsy done? When was it done and was the family given a copy
    4. Was the CCTV evidence examined and did the AG view it.
    5. Were the other inmates interviewed by investigators?
    6. Was the police involved in the investigation?

    All this just leads to the question as to how many inmates have died in prison. Have there been other cases of death by lying in a prone position?

  • Ebbie

    Oh my God.

    • satan

      oh my devil

  • Ebbie

    Oh my God.

    • satan

      oh my devil

  • the patriot

    i am totally against PAP. but, i have to say this is a joke. Dinesh is a threat to society. did u see all the tattoos on his body. thank god, he is DEAD. if not, he will just be going in and out of jail. the real person that should be charged here is not the govt, but the mother!! what sort of kid have you raised?!

  • Sha

    I’m a Malay and I support you Miss Selvi Narayanasam.

    It’s time we speak up against these atrocities.

    We minorities are not the chinese’s punching bag.

    • Wanker

      how about kicking bag then?

    • xlandjy

      why do you need to identify your ethnic origin before you state your position? will it make any difference? do u imply that one ethnic race normally does not support another race? Lets grow up, identify ourselves as only Human Race … the origins of enthnicity does not make any difference….

      you further attempt to incite hatred against another group of Singaporeans… on “punching bags”…. But if you have followed this case closely, the prison officers involved have names of all the ethnic groups of Singapore ….

      People of different ethnic groups can do good; can do bad. Its just human nature … Good people like you must strive to promote good and not spread hatred further …..

  • Sha

    I’m a Malay and I support you Miss Selvi Narayanasam.

    It’s time we speak up against these atrocities.

    We minorities are not the chinese’s punching bag.

    • Wanker

      how about kicking bag then?

    • xlandjy

      why do you need to identify your ethnic origin before you state your position? will it make any difference? do u imply that one ethnic race normally does not support another race? Lets grow up, identify ourselves as only Human Race … the origins of enthnicity does not make any difference….

      you further attempt to incite hatred against another group of Singaporeans… on “punching bags”…. But if you have followed this case closely, the prison officers involved have names of all the ethnic groups of Singapore ….

      People of different ethnic groups can do good; can do bad. Its just human nature … Good people like you must strive to promote good and not spread hatred further …..

  • eonaldo

    Where is the justice?

  • eonaldo

    Where is the justice?

  • Vj

    poor thing…he was murdered so brutally…curse those who did tat to him…may they burn in hell n go through every single punishment in hell….

  • BT

    Please tell us, based on your own observation in prison, what oer wrong things the prison guards do. Details are needed to back up your claims and so that action can be taken against them.

    So please elaborate.

  • BT

    Please tell us, based on your own observation in prison, what oer wrong things the prison guards do. Details are needed to back up your claims and so that action can be taken against them.

    So please elaborate.

  • Pius Gilbert Louis

    Quite clearly this would mean I have have to spend a considerable amount of time. I am prepared to do that. However what assurance do I have that you have the ability to take action. I had given a concise response to Ben Shigure Ho who was alluding that I was correctly convicted. Please give me an indication of your intentions and I will pen the details.

  • dazzleworth

    If it’s you or your family in that position, will you say the same? Keep in mind that you could go to jail for just about anything in Sg, even saying you are against the PAP, as you just did!

  • dazzleworth

    If it’s you or your family in that position, will you say the same? Keep in mind that you could go to jail for just about anything in Sg, even saying you are against the PAP, as you just did!

  • mathia

    Such a sensitive soul you are. Thumbs up.

  • mathia

    Such a sensitive soul you are. Thumbs up.

  • Lee

    This is a very wrong statement Patriot. In what way Dinesh was a threat to the society? Tattoos are seen as art… Gosh you are such a shallow minded person….!! If you have nothing good to say just shut the up….!!!

  • Lee

    This is a very wrong statement Patriot. In what way Dinesh was a threat to the society? Tattoos are seen as art… Gosh you are such a shallow minded person….!! If you have nothing good to say just shut the up….!!!

  • GoodGuy

    i feel you bro

  • GoodGuy

    i feel you bro

  • CK

    You’re a senseless fool! Parents do try their best to raise their kids, but unfortunately sometimes if kids end up with the wrong company, this is what happens. What if something similar happens to one of your kids? How would you feel? Your remarks are very insensitive and cruel! Did your parent raise you to be like that???
    As for tattoos, they’re a form of art! You’re a real nut in a shell!

  • CK

    You’re a senseless fool! Parents do try their best to raise their kids, but unfortunately sometimes if kids end up with the wrong company, this is what happens. What if something similar happens to one of your kids? How would you feel? Your remarks are very insensitive and cruel! Did your parent raise you to be like that???
    As for tattoos, they’re a form of art! You’re a real nut in a shell!

  • BT

    Pius, if you are convincing and your information is fully backed up, the alternative media, especially TOC, ‘prominent’ bloggers and netizens will definitively take up your cause, make your story viral and raise a public outcry that the govt cannot ignore.

    Without putting out your case, nobody can decide whether we will or want to help champion your case.

    Have a good, to back to prove that you really have a valid case. Convince us.

  • BT

    Pius, if you are convincing and your information is fully backed up, the alternative media, especially TOC, ‘prominent’ bloggers and netizens will definitively take up your cause, make your story viral and raise a public outcry that the govt cannot ignore.

    Without putting out your case, nobody can decide whether we will or want to help champion your case.

    Have a good, to back to prove that you really have a valid case. Convince us.

  • Pius Gilbert Louis

    Ok I understand and accept. I will start preparing and get back to you.

  • Pius Gilbert Louis

    Ok I understand and accept. I will start preparing and get back to you.

TOC TV

Archives