While trying to grapple with the horror of the brutal assault on 18-year-old T Nhaveen, the nation is praying that he will pull through and recover.
- Beaten with helmets
- Sodomised with a blunt object, possibly a stick or bottle
- Cigarette burns on the back
- All suspects arrested, all teenagers
Described as nothing but kind, soft-spoken and gentle, Nhaveen never went looking for trouble. But trouble came looking for him even when he was in secondary school when he was bullied for being “effeminate”.
An ambitious boy who loves music, he was about to enrol in a private college in Kuala Lumpur to pursue his dream of becoming a music composer.
Now he is on life support in the intensive care unit of Penang Hospital after doctors declared him brain-dead.
Many took to social media to express outrage over the incident and urged authorities to bring the culprits to justice.
Nhaveen was allegedly beaten with helmets, sodomised with an object, and burned with cigarettes by a group of teenagers at around midnight on Saturday at a field in Jalan Kaki Bukit in Bukit Gelugor. He was sent to hospital in an unconscious state.
What has compounded his family’s grief is that they were only told 36 hours after he was warded that he was sodomised and burned.
According to M Vincent, Nhaveen’s uncle, three medical officers attended to his nephew when he was warded and told the family he had not sustained external injuries.
“They told us Nhaveen had internal bleeding in his head and abdomen on the very first day.
“Only some 36 hours later, the doctors and nurses informed us that he was sodomised and there were burns on his back.
“The doctors also showed Nhaveen’s mother and the investigating officer injuries to his anus and private parts,” he told a press conference at the hospital yesterday.
Lawyer and family friend Datuk Baljit Singh urged police to investigate the case thoroughly.
It is learnt that the doctor has already conducted a rectal swab on Nhaveen and the sample has been sent to the forensics unit for analysis.
Penang Hospital Visitors’ Board chairman Lim Thoon Deong said the hospital would try its very best to save the boy.
“He came here in a very critical state and the hospital multidisciplinary team is doing all they can for him. There is no element of negligence, to my knowledge,” said Lim.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Anuar Omar confirmed that Nhaveen had sustained injuries consistent with what the family was told.
“Specialists certified that there were burn marks on his back, and signs that a blunt object was inserted into the victim’s anus,” he said.
He added that police officers would scour the scene of the attack to locate the object, possibly a stick or a bottle.
On why the victim’s family only learnt of the anal injuries more than a day after he was declared brain-dead, Anuar said the discovery was made by a specialist who checked on the victim on Sunday.
He said the specialist found bleeding in the victim’s anus, indicating that some object had penetrated the victim.
According to Anuar, the hospital had yet to reveal the cause of the victim becoming brain-dead. However, it is believed to be due to severe brain damage.
Relatives told the media that Nhaveen is epileptic as he has a small tumour in his brain.
Police arrested five suspects: a 16-year-old form four student, a 17-year-old form five student, an 18-year-old college student and another two 18-year-old recent school leavers. They are initially being investigated under Section 148 of the Penal Code for rioting with weapons.
Police requested the respective schools and colleges that the suspects attended to send reports on their records and performances.
“We found no gangsterism elements in this case. The boys used to know each other in school. They used to bully the victim even then.
“The boys admitted hitting the victim when questioned by the police.
“It started when the two ex-schoolmates ran into him and started to tease him, calling him ‘pondan‘ and a coward. They teased him about his moustache,” Anuar said.
Police also recorded the statements of several witnesses, including five doctors and Nhaveen’s best friend, 19-year-old T Previin, who was with him but managed to escape.
“The teen has been very helpful to the police in the probe. He identified all the suspects.
“He suffered some facial injuries after being hit with helmets. He is also being treated at Penang Hospital,” Anuar said.
He added that investigations were almost completed.