Former IGP: Police not negligent in failing to arrest Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband

Former IGP: Police not negligent in failing to arrest Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pix) told the High Court here today that he and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) were never malicious or negligent in failing to arrest kindergarten teacher M. Indira’s ex-husband and returning their daughter who had been converted and abducted by him (ex-husband).

Abdul Hamid, 65, said he had sought official help from the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) to track down K. Patmanathan or (going by his Muslim name) Muhammad Riduan and carried out various efforts which included requesting official help from neighbouring countries to locate him.

“In 2019, based on PDRM sources and investigations, I knew in general the possible location of Patmanathan, which was in Thailand. However, efforts to track and arrest him are still ongoing,“ he said in a witness statement at the hearing before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin Shah Raja Mohzan.

Indira Gandhi as the plaintiff is suing the IGP, PDRM, Home Ministry, and government as defendants regarding the failure to arrest Muhammad Riduan after he fled with their daughter, Prasana Diksa.

According to Abdul Hamid, while inaugurating a ceremony regarding the Bukit Aman Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID) on Jan 28, 2020, he (Abdul Hamid) issued a statement that the PDRM had worked and was working to finalise the case.

“I have given assurances that the PDRM will not allow this case to continue and are trying to achieve a ‘happy ending’ and emphasise Prasana’s welfare in addition to eliminating the mother’s longing for her child,“ said the defence’s first witness.

“I also emphasise that the PDRM is trying to locate Patmanathan but did not publicise it to the media in the interest of the public.”

Abdul Hamid said he never issued a statement or gave any indication that he or the PDRM did not arrest Patmanathan despite knowing his location.

“I have stated in several press conferences that efforts and actions are carried out to trace and arrest Patmanathan. Based on the records, the PDRM and I carried out appropriate efforts and actions to comply with the court order to execute the committal warrant against Patmanathan.

“At any time, PDRM and I did not neglect our responsibility in executing the committal warrant because the investigation, efforts and actions of PDRM members and officers to track down and arrest Patmanathan have continued until now,“ he explained.

To senior federal counsel Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi’s question about the mandamus order directing the police to arrest Patmanathan, Abdul Hamid said that during his tenure as IGP, he was very committed to ensuring that the order was implemented and redoubled efforts to track down the man.

“My instructions are clear, I do not play with political sentiments, religion and theatrics in this case. I am very sympathetic towards Indira…I directed an official to meet Indira by explaining and convincing her that I care about her suffering and I asked her to meet me face-to-face,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Indira Gandhi said Prasana has yet to be returned because the IGP has not taken any action until today.

“The first defendant (IGP) said in a media statement on Jan 27, 2020, that the first defendant is aware of Patmanathan’s location and is trying to achieve a ‘happy ending’ for the plaintiff.

“The first defendant’s statement clearly shows that he had knowledge of Patmanathan’s location but failed to arrest the man and return Prasana to me,“ she said through a witness statement.

Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin Shah Raja Mohzan fixed May 7 for both parties to present their oral submissions.

Indira Gandhi was represented by lawyers Rajesh Nagarajan, Sachpreetraj Singh Sohanpal, Pavitra Loganathan and Vigines Shankar.

In a suit filed on Oct 28, 2020, Indira Gandhi claimed that the IGP had deliberately and negligently ignored the mandamus order from the Federal Court for failing to investigate or take appropriate action to return Prasana, who is now 17 years old, to her.

Muhammad Riduan had absconded with Prasana Diksa when she was 11 months old, after he converted to Islam.

The plaintiff also claimed that the behaviour of all the defendants directly caused the separation between her and her youngest daughter to continue until today and that Muhammad Riduan managed to escape.

In 2009, Muhammad Riduan converted their three children to Islam without Indira Gandhi’s consent before going to the Syariah Court to obtain custody of the children, but in 2018 the Federal Court ruled that the unilateral conversion of the three children was null and void.

The Ipoh High Court granted full custody of the child to Indira Gandhi in 2010 while in 2016, the Federal Court confirmed the mandamus order issued by the High Court which ordered the police and the appellants to arrest Muhammad Riduan and retrieve Prasana to be returned to Indira Gandhi. -Bernama


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