SHAH ALAM: It was a chaotic scene on the night fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was injured in the line of duty during a riot at a Hindu temple, an inquest to determine the cause of his death heard.
Muhammad Adib’s colleague, Md Elliza Mohd Noor (pic), who was the driver of the fire engine that day, said that the Fire and Rescue Department’s vehicle was approached by a group of about 50 men as soon as the personnel arrived at the scene in the early morning of Nov 27 last year.
“They were shouting, ‘Don’t put out the fire, bomba (firefighters), go back, don’t put it out,” said Md Elliza from the witness box on the first day of the inquest at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Monday (Feb 11).
“They said this many times, accompanied by hand signals asking us to leave,” he added.
He said that the group of men were carrying objects such as bricks and helmets.
One man was carrying a long steel object, which he then used to hit the windshield of the fire engine, Md Elliza added.
“After that, the bricks and helmets came raining upon the windshield,” he said.
When asked by DPP Hamdan Hamzah, who was leading a three-member team from the Attorney General’s Chambers, about how he felt at that time, Md Elliza said that he was scared.
“I was very scared (takut sekali),” he said, adding that he was afraid that the windshield would shatter and the objects would injure the occupants of the fire engine.
Policeman DSP Mohamad Nasir Drahman said that he saw two vehicles burning throughout the night of Nov 26 till the wee hours of Nov 27.
DSP Mohamad Nasir, who was from IPD Subang Jaya, said that he saw the group approaching the fire engine from the front.
“I saw people throwing objects at the fire engine,” he said.
He, however, said that he was unable to see what was happening to the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van behind the fire engine due to insufficient lighting.
Muhammad Adib was in the EMRS van.
The inquest is on a one-hour break and will continue after.
Shah Alam Sessions Court judge Rofiah Mohamad sits as coroner.
Apart from Hamdan and his team, others present were lawyers for Muhammad Adib’s family, a lawyer for the Housing and Local Government Ministry, and lawyers from human rights organisation Suhakam and the Bar Council.
Muhammad Adib was critically injured when he and his team from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency at the at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where riots happened on Nov 27.
He was taken to Subang Jaya Medical Centre before being transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment.
He died on Dec 17 at 9.41pm at IJN.