Act against the culprits in teen detainee rape case

Kasthuri Patto

My biggest fear came true when I read about this case.

– Kasthuri Patto

KUCHING: A federal legislator has urged the authorities to take swift action against those responsible in the alleged rape of a 16-year-old female detainee while under custody at the Miri police station.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP for Batu Kawan Kasthuri Patto said heads must roll over the incident which reportedly occurred between 4am to 5am on Jan 9.

“In the midst of skyrocketing numbers of Covid-19 cases, incidents of sexual violations tend to fall through the cracks in the news as all attention is naturally on clusters, infected communities and how soon can the vaccine arrive.

“My biggest fear came true when I read about this case. And thankfully the case was highlighted by Senator Alan Ling, and Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail has given his assurance that the police will conduct an in-depth investigation into this rape monstrosity including suspending the policemen who were on duty at the time of the crime,” she said today.

Horrified about the incident, she said the child should not have been placed in the lock-up with other detainees. The police should have known that as it ought to be in the standard operating procedure (SOP) when detaining minors.

“How did the rapist manage to get access to the victim and to have forced himself on her? Didn’t the police officer on duty notice that one person was missing from his cell? Did they not hear any sounds at that time?

“Were there CCTVs in the lockups as pledged and announced time and time again by the police chief and Home Minister that all police lockups will be equipped with functioning CCTVs?

“This incident — rape of a minor held in police lock-up should have rocked the nation, and this goes to show how critical it is to have the Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) Bill to be tabled in Parliament, debated and passed into law,” she stressed.