M. Ragupathy was arrested together with nine other persons after fleeing from an illegal gaming outlet following a dispute with the proprietor. The group stumbled onto a police patrol car and were arrested on suspicion of committing a robbery. All 10 men were taken to the Sepang Police Station and were later remanded for 12 days, from 18 to 30 July 2002. Ragupathy had undergone a heart operation several years earlier during which a prosthetic valve was installed that requires a medical supplement known as waffarin, a type of anti-coagulant. Due to the operation, he had a visible 8-inch scar running below his neck across his chest.
According to a statutory declaration affirmed by the cousin brother of Ragupathy who was detained with the deceased, Ragupathy started complaining of chest pains and inability to sleep to the police beginning on 20 July. His condition worsened and he was not able to eat for three days; he also had bouts of vomiting. Ragupathy and his friends made repeated pleas for medical attention, and his special circumstances were conveyed to the police but to no avail. On 26 July, the police finally brought him to a government clinic, where an assistant treated him, as the doctor was absent. The assistant said that he was “treated” for asthma, as that was what the police told him about the victim. He was given some medication, but his condition further deteriorated. On 27 July, the police took him to Putrajaya Hospital. He was pronounced dead the next day. The Sepang police denied any negligence or foul play and said that the deceased could have “died anywhere,” since he had not taken his medication and did not inform the police of his condition. He added that the hospital only detected the condition when they did a chest X-ray.