Go-Ahead for Inquest into Teen’s Death in Teacher’s Lost iPhone Case

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The family of M Vasanthapiriya, who died following a suicide bid after being accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone, hopes the truth behind the tragedy will come to light in the inquest proceedings.

KE Ooi

The teen’s father, R Muniandy, 54, said only by knowing the truth could the family find closure over their loss, the New Straits Times reported.

He said that for now, the family is still finding it hard to come to terms with Vasanthapiriya’s death.

“Never a day goes by when we do not think about our little girl.

“Indeed, we are grateful to the Attorney General (AG) for giving the green light for the inquest. We will finally know what happened.

Amir Irsyad Omar/NST

“We really hope to get to the bottom of things and find out what triggered our girl to take her life, because the stolen iPhone was never found on her,” he was quoted as saying.

An inquest is usually held when there are reasons to suspect that a person has died in a sudden or unnatural manner. It is held by a coroner, usually a presiding magistrate.

It is not a trial, where a person could be found guilty of an offence or civilly liable, but is merely a fact-finding mission.

Muniandy also said that the family would like to view closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the incident, which supposedly exists.

“Certain media outlets (including the New Straits Times) recently reported that the CCTV footage allegedly shows Vasanthapiriya taking the phone.

“That is not true at all. Our girl would never have done such a thing. We want to know the contents of the CCTV footage,” he was quoted saying.

Vasanthapiriya left a note maintaining her innocence.

Yesterday, Penang police chief Datuk A Thaiveegan told reporters that the AG recently gave them the green light to hold an inquest into Vasanthapiriya’s death.

He said that police are still awaiting the date to commence the inquest and that at least 30 witnesses will be called upon to testify.

Vasanthapiriya’s death sparked a huge outcry, with her family, relatives and the public demanding that justice be served.

The teacher concerned, who was subsequently posted to a desk job at the district education office, lodged a police report after receiving death threats.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Tamilar Kural president David Marshel, who has been with the family since the beginning in demanding justice, has called on the state Education Department to take action against the teacher.

He said the Penang Education Department has yet to act against the teacher, as it is awaiting information from the police.

“I believe the department has its own standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the teacher internally.

“So, why does it need to wait for the police?

“We demand to know the outcome of the department’s internal probe into the matter, and more importantly, we demand that the department tells us if (they feel that there has been) wrongdoing on the teacher’s part,” David was quoted saying.

Related reports:

Feb 14, Refuting Allegations That Vasanthapiriya Slit Her Wrist Previously

Feb 12, CCTV Footage Allegedly Shows Vasanthapiriya Taking Handphone

Feb 9, Inquest into Death of Student Accused of Stealing Teacher’s iPhone

Feb 6, Emotions Still Raw Nearly a Week After Vasanthapiriya’s Death

Feb 2, Girl Accused of Phone Theft Laid to Rest

Feb 1, Accused of Stealing Teacher’s Handphone, Girl Who Attempted Suicide Dies

Jan 27, Form Two Girl in Suicide Bid After Teacher Accuses Her of Stealing Handphone