Right after news of Nhaveen’s death broke, a scam was circulating seeking public donations purportedly for the family while a picture of a bloody naked man went viral on social media alleging it was Nhaveen.
As the nation poured out its grief on the news of T Nhaveen’s passing, an opportunist sought to gain from the tragedy by circulating a WhatsApp message soliciting donations purportedly for the family.
Nhaveen’s bereaved family have refuted claims that they have been seeking donations from the public.
They learned of the WhatsApp message from members of the media who joined them at the Penang Hospital to wait for the post-mortem to be completed on Nhaveen’s body last night.
The WhatsApp message that went viral included a CIMB account number under the name of Shanmugam Mahalingam.
“I want to stress that we are not asking for any monetary aid.
“We never sought public donations. The message is a hoax. What we want is justice for my nephew,” said Nhaveen’s uncle, R Thiyagarajan, 50.
He added that the family had appointed lawyer Baljit Singh to represent them in Nhaveen’s case.
At a time of such distress, a picture of a naked, thin man with blood stains lying on some grass, claiming to be that of Nhaveen after being assaulted, has gone viral.
“It is definitely not Nhaveen. The man in the photo has tattoos, ‘skinhead’ hair style, with a muscular build. Nhaveen has none of those.
“We plead with all to stop spreading such fake pictures, please,” Nhaveen’s aunt, Premalatha Ganapathi, 35, said.
Checks showed the picture is of a fight victim at Kuching City Mall yesterday.
Premalatha added that conmen had also targeted her by opening a fake Facebook account under her name, soliciting donations for Nhaveen’s wake.
“I have a different Facebook account under a different name. And our family has not asked for donations,” she said.
Nhaveen died from his injuries at 5:31 pm yesterday. It rained for 20 minutes right after. Many said it was odd as the sun was shining brightly just before. It was as if even the heavens were weeping for a life unnecessarily snuffed out too soon.
The teenager was surrounded by his family as doctors worked desperately to resuscitate him after his heart rate dropped. He slipped away all the same. He was only 18.
His mother, factory worker D Shanti, 43, became hysterical upon hearing of her son’s death.
“Why? Why? Why? Why must this happen to my son? What did he do to deserve this?
“With whom am I going to share my sadness and happiness?” the mother wailed and screamed as a steady stream of tears flowed.
The boy’s uncles also broke down on hearing the news.
His passing sent shockwaves through a big group of relatives and well-wishers at the hospital. The mood was one of deep sadness as cries of anguish echoed around the ground floor of the building. Many were crying and hugging each other for comfort.
Nhaveen’s best friend, T Previin, left the operating theatre at about the same time Nhaveen died. He had undergone surgery on his left cheekbone which was injured when the attackers hit him in the face with their helmets on the night of the assault.
Heavily sedated, he was spared the bad news.
As news of Nhaveen’s death spread, the crowd outside Block A of the hospital swelled. A large group of men with souped-up motorcycles arrived and parked outside the block.
Candle-wax stains from Wednesday night’s vigil were still evident on the grounds of the block. Some 200 people had prayed for Nhaveen outside the window of the ward he was in.
The autopsy was carried out by renown forensic pathologist Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh. The cause of death was due to blunt trauma to the head, Northeast district police chief ACP Anuar Omar told The Sun.
Nhaveen’s wake will be held today at Hall D, United Hokkien Cemeteries funeral parlour, Jalan Batu Gantong, off Scotland Road, from 2 pm onwards.
The ferocious attack on Nhaveen has drawn international attention, with award-winning Indian musical genius AR Rahman sending Nhaveen a message on his Twitter yesterday and praying for his recovery.
The tweet by Rahman, who is currently in the UK preparing for a concert next month, would have been seen by his 14.5 million followers. It was “liked” by close to 4,000 people and re-tweeted nearly 2,000 times.
Sadly, the Nhaveen died just three minutes after the tweet was sent.
Nevertheless, the boy’s grandmother, J Chandra Iswari, was very touched by Rahman’s kind wishes and thanked the famous musician for acknowledging one of his admirers.
“For once in this week-long ordeal, we smiled a little. Thank you, Mr Rahman, it means a lot because my grandson always wanted to be a musician like you but sadly he is no longer here.
“But thank you for so much from the bottom of my heart. You really touched everyone’s heart and Nhaveen boy’s, I salute you,” the 55-year-old educator said to FMT news portal at the Penang Hospital last night.
A Chennai-based online news portal in India also tweeted about Nhaveen, with the headline “This #Malaysian ‘brain dead’ teen wanted to be like #ARRahman.”
A petition was started on www.change.org by R Mukhesh entitled ‘Justice For T Nhaveen And For All Bullied Victims’ which has so far garnered 4,782 supporters.
A leading Tamil music director-cum-actor from India, Vijay Antony shared on his Facebook page the petition with the status ‘RIP (Rest In Peace)’.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said in a post on Twitter today: “Saddened to receive news of the passing of T Nhaveen. Condolences to the family. Justice and stern action will be taken against his assailants.”
Local celebrities and the public took to social media to express their anguish and condolence.
Malaysian actress Ida Nerina shared on her Facebook page: “My heart just got wrenched for the poor mothers of Nhaveen and Zul (Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain). Wrenched and twisted.”
Netizen Luqman Abdul Samad who goes by the Twitter handle @LuqmanSamad said “Late T Nhaveen and allahyarham Farhan (Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain) could (have) become a great musician and great soldier one day if they lived longer…RIP.”
Another Twitter user, Sherlina or @sherlinakr said: “Rest in power, Nhaveen and Zulfarhan. May all of us look out for one another.”
The fatal attacks on Nhaveen and naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zukarnain, whose death on Jun 1 also sparked outrage, as well as several other recent violent incidents among students nationwide is putting a spotlight on bullying here.
In extending his condolences to Nhaveen’s family, MIC president and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said more serious and drastic actions must be taken by the authorities to curb the poisonous culture of school bullying and gangsterism among youth in the country.
“I urge stern action be taken against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim wants the five teenagers allegedly involved in the death of T Nhaveen to be charged as adults.
“I urge for this case to be dealt under the Penal Code and not the Child Act,” Rohani said when speaking to the press outside the wake held for Nhaveen.
Rohani teared up as she spoke, saying that she was a mother too.
“The one thing his mother asked me was this to be the last case and not let it happen to anyone else’s child.
“She is a single mother and they were a close family unit,” she said, adding that the family had been given emergency aid to help with funeral expenses.
Earlier, Rohani was seen consoling Nhaveen’s mother D Shanti, who urged for justice to be served.
“My son is dead. Don’t let this happen to anyone else’s child,” the mother said through tears.
The five boys arrested for investigation on the assault against Nhaveen were known to the family since primary school and had been friends with the teenager in the early days.
Their playful teasing later escalated to extreme bullying. They singled out Nhaveen simply because he was a gentle and not aggressive individual. They found it easier to bully him because he appeared timid. There were attempts to enrol him in a secret society (gang) but Nhaveen rebuffed these as he did not want to be part of it.
“Nhaveen never reacted until that day,” Previin said.
It is said that the family claimed Nhaveen’s sister was also harassed after the incident.
Police have been urged to provide an armed escort at Penang Hospital for Previin while he recovers from his injuries.
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said police had reclassified the Nhaveen’s case as murder.
Two of the five suspects detained in T Nhaveen’s murder have been remanded for four days until Monday to assist investigations over a separate incident involving an employee of a convenience store on May 5.
Northeast district police chief ACP Anuar Omar said the three other youths whose remand will end tomorrow will also be re-arrested.
The five were believed to be involved in the case of a 19-year-old boy who was beaten and blackmailed in the incident in Jelutong, Anuar said.
Several poignant videos have been uploaded on YouTube in memory of Nhaveen, whose ordeal have moved many Malaysians to tears, even those who didn’t know him.
Rest in peace, dear boy.
Jun 15, Assaulted Penang Boy Has Died