|Dinesh Raman with his sister Ms Shan.
Family regret ignoring him after he breached probation
WHEN Dinesh Raman was released on probation, his family were overjoyed.
But when he had to return to prison after breaching his probation, they were so disappointed with him they decided to ignore him, to teach him a lesson.
And by the time they softened their stance, the 21-year-old was dead.
Dinesh was no angel, said his sister's friend, who wanted to be known only as Ms Sri. She has known the family since her kindergarten days.
"Dinesh was a little hot-tempered. But to those he loved, he was nice and slow to anger. "He was always there for his friends and he was like my brother too," she said.
But he had a violent side.
A prison spokesman said: "Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah, a 21-year-old Singaporean, had a history of violence.
"He was convicted of rioting and theft, and was sentenced to Reformative Training on Dec 12, 2007.
"He was released on supervision on Jan 6, 2010. However, due to poor conduct during his supervision, he was recalled on June 1, 2010, to continue his Reformative Training in prison."
His family said Dinesh was 18 when he was sentenced to reformative training at Kaki Bukit Centre (Prison School), where he repeated his Secondary 3 studies.
He had failed his N level examinations when he was in secondary school.
On Jan 6, he was released on supervision and enlisted in the army. The family was overjoyed that he was out.
Said his sister, Ms Shan: "I took him home when he was released and we had a family dinner together.
"Dinesh was so happy because it was the first time he saw his two-year-old sister."
On May 6, the family received a prison recall letter, informing them that Dinesh should turn himself in at a police station or Reformative Training Centre immediately.
Said Ms Shan: "We ignored the letter as he was in camp. Then one day in June, he suddenly came back and said he was going to surrender and left.
"We just ignored him, and we had no idea how long he had to serve in prison this time." The family said they have no clue how he had breached his probation.
The last time they saw him was in June.
Angry and disappointed that he had wasted his chance at freedom, the family decided to punish Dinesh.
Ms Shan said: "We decided not to visit him or write to him because we wanted him to miss us and regret his actions."
When he was in Kaki Bukit Centre, the family visited Dinesh twice a week and often wrote to him.
Three months after her brother's return to prison, Ms Shan's heart softened.
"I missed him and when I heard that my mum had booked an appointment to visit him, I was happy. But now I'll never see him again," she said.
This article was first published in The New Paper.