Dead suspects' families seek answers
FAMILY members of the five men shot dead by police on Monday are demanding an explanation for the shootings.
More than 50 family members and friends of the men gathered outside the Penang mortuary last night seeking answers.
An uncle of one of the men, Mr S. Nadarajah, 62, said: "Why did they have to shoot the men when they could've just fired a warning shot?
"(The men) were all sleeping inside (their house). I believe the police could have apprehended them easily."
The father of one of the men, Mr V. R. Murugasen, 52, is furious and baffled as to how his son and four friends were identified as members of the notorious Gang 04.
"My son has no criminal record, so how can he be affiliated to the gang? I think the police are lying just to cover their backs," he said.
"The five of them grew up together and had just moved into the apartment three days ago. They were very close and some of them would come over to my house for meals."
Family members also said they claimed the bodies of the suspects only after lodging police reports.
Hindu Rights Action Force chairman P. Waytha Moorthy and Democratic Action Party national chairman Karpal Singh have called for an inquest into the shooting.
Mr Waytha Moorthy, who is Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said he saw photographs of the shootings and found that the men had been shot at close range.
"I don't think anyone in the right frame of mind will believe that there was an actual shoot-out between the police and the suspects," he said in a statement.
Mr Singh said that, although there has been an increase in crime cases and there is a need to stem the crime rate, there is no necessity for the police to act in the manner they did.
"Since all of them were in an apartment, there was no need for the police to rush in and shoot them dead," he said.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK