Firefighter's death in Selangor temple riot result of a criminal act: Coroner’s court

Firefighter's death in Selangor temple riot result of a criminal act: Coroner’s court

Muhammad Adib
Malaysian firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

SHAH ALAM, Selangor: Malaysian firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim's death was the result of a criminal act performed by two unidentified individuals, the coroner's court in Selangor said on Friday morning (Sep 27).

"The blunt chest trauma that led to the death of Muhammad Adib was not of his own doing but the impact of the criminal acts by more than two individuals," coroner Rofiah Mohamad said. 

Mr Muhammad Adib, who suffered serious injuries during the clashes near the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya on Nov 27 last year, died at the National Heart Centre in Kuala Lumpur after fighting for his life for 21 days.

The 24-year-old was a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department's Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) unit responding to a fire in front of the temple.

Violence had erupted at the temple over a dispute on the proposed relocation of the house of worship. 

A inquest which ran for 41 days was called to determine the cause of Mr Muhammad Adib's death, during which witness has said that he was beaten by several people during the riots. 

Forensic experts in March however said that his injuries were not consistent with those of someone who had been hit, kicked or punched. 

Another witness, Mr Budd Mohsin, has said that Mr Muhammad Adib fell on his back and was wedged between two vehicles during the riots. 

READ: Heavy police presence at Selangor Hindu temple after firefighter’s death

Malaysia firefighter Muhammad Adib
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, attend prayers during Muhammad Adib's final send off at the Fire and Rescue Department Air Base in Subang on Dec 18, 2018. (Photo: Bernama)

Delivering her judgement on Friday, the coroner said the court accepted the testimony of the 29th witness, United Kingdom-based senior consultant forensic pathologist Prof Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid, who said that Mr Muhammad Adib was beaten and dragged out of a Fire Rescue Department van.

She concluded that the failure of the police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel in controlling the riot also contributed to Mr Muhammad Adib's death.

A total of 30 witnesses have been called to give their statements since the inquest into his death began on Feb 11. 

The case will now be handed over to the attorney-general and the police to carry out investigation and prosecution procedures. 

READ: 'I miss him terribly' - Mother of Malaysian firefighter Muhammad Adib

"DO NOT POLITICISE THIS": MINISTER

Speaking to reporters at the courts complex on Friday, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin urged Malaysians to accept the findings of the inquest and not to racialise the issue. 

"Do not let this be politicised, do not bring up religious and racial issues," she was quoted as saying by the Star

"This was an issue of a Malaysian who died on duty," she said, adding that she will leave it to the police to take further action. 

Separately, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said police will investigate and identify the parties involved in the death of Mr Muhammad Adib.

Source: Bernama/CNA/nr(tx)

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