Inquest into death of student accused of stealing phone starts

  • Nation
  • Friday, 30 Mar 2018

GEORGE TOWN: An inquest into the death of 14-year-old student M. Vasantha Piriya, who was accused of stealing her teacher’s handphone, will be held today.

The inquest will be conducted at the coroner’s court at Sessions Court 1 in Light Street here.

South Seberang Prai OCPD Supt Shafee Abdul Samad said the number of witnesses and proceeding days would only be finalised during the inquest.

Earlier, Penang police chief Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan was reported as saying that some 30 witnesses would be called to testify at the inquest.

He added that the inquest would be open to the public.

It was learnt that the coroner would look into all statements from all relevant parties.

Six police reports were lodged and three investigation papers were opened on the case, including one on Vasantha’s attempted suicide, a sudden death report and a police report made by the girl’s uncle.

On Jan 24, a teacher was reported to have accused and reprimanded Vasantha for stealing her handphone at the school before sending her home later.

After arriving home, the girl’s father R. Muniandy went out with the teacher to discuss the matter.

The Form Two girl was found unconscious in her room after her father broke down the door when he returned home and his calls went unanswered.

She had locked the room door and placed a chair against the door to prevent it from being opened.

The SMK Methodist student was rushed to the nearby Sungai Bakap Hospital before being transferred to Seberang Jaya Hospital, where she passed away on Feb 1 after being in a coma for seven days.

Vasantha left a note maintaining her innocence.

Meanwhile, the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has appointed a lawyer to assist the teacher.

“A lawyer has been appointed to hold a watching brief,” NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan said in a statement yesterday.

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