NEWS

MO,9/2/2018, GEORGE TOWN: An inquest is expected to be held into 14-year-old M. Vasanthapiriya’s death. She died about a week following a suicide attempt after she was accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone last month. State Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Zainol Samah said police have opened up a sudden death report (SDR) in order to proceed with the inquest process.

He said this would enable the coroner to look into all the 24 statements taken by the police so far. “We are going through all the necessary procedures. After this, the coroner will guide us through the next course of action,” he said. Zainol said police were still investigating the case from all angles and would need to record more statements from witnesses after the investigation paper submitted to the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP)’s office was returned with a request for more information.

It was reported that the Form Two student from SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal had apparently been summoned by three teachers on Jan 24 and was quizzed over the disappearance of one of the teachers’ iPhone at the school. Despite her repeated denials, one of the teachers reportedly struck the student for failing to own up to the theft. The teacher and her husband – who is a teacher from another school – allegedly threatened to lodge a police report on the matter. The girl, however, maintained her innocence.

Both the teachers sent her home after school time and told her father, R. Muniandy, about the case. Even then, Vasanthapiriya was adamant that she did not do it. Overcome with emotion, the girl later tried to hang herself at home the same night. She was found unconscious but alive by Muniandy, who rushed her to hospital. She died without ever regaining consciousness on Jan 1 at the Seberang Jaya Hospital. Currently, police are in the midst of recording further statements, including from media practitioners in order to complete the investigation paper before handing it back to the DPP’s office.

Some of the media practitioners, who covered Vasanthapiriya’s death, were summoned yesterday to have their statements recorded in relation to Malaysian Tamilar Kural (MTK) president David Marshel’s statement. It is believed that David could have made false claims about the incident. “Hence, we want to record the statements of those who interviewed him, to know whether he actually made such statements. “This will help facilitate our investigations,” a source close to the investigation said.

–NSTP



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