30 to testify in inquest into Vasanthapiriya’s death

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Source: The Malaysian Insight

M. Vasanthapiriya, who was accused of stealing a teacher’s iPhone, died on February 1 after being in a coma for a week, following a suicide attempt over the accusation against her. – The Malaysian Insight pic, February 22, 2018.

SOME 30 people will testify in an open inquest into the death of Penang teenager M. Vasanthapiriya, who died after slipping into a coma following a suicide attempt, said police.

State police chief commissioner A. Thaiveegan said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had given the go-ahead for the inquest to be conducted.

He said they were now waiting for the dates to be set.

“It is going to be an open hearing. There are almost 30 witnesses.

“There may be more testifying, depending on how the hearing goes,” he told reporters after a dialogue with Indian teachers and students at the Southern Seberang Prai district police headquarters in Nibong Tebal today.

Vasanthapiriya, a student at SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal, had been accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone last month – an allegation she had denied.

It was reported that her teacher had sent her home after school the same day to confront her parents.

The teen’s family found her hanging from a shawl tied to an overhead pipe in her bedroom. She had tried to kill herself while her teacher was talking to her parents.

Vasanthapiriya was in a coma for a week before she died on February 1.

Her death sparked an outcry, with relatives and the public demanding that justice be served.

The accusing teacher has since been posted to a desk job at the district education office.

She reportedly lodged a police report after receiving death threats.

Thaiveegan, when asked about the teacher, declined to comment.

“Wait for the inquest. We can no longer comment on the case.”  

Earlier, during the dialogue with the teachers and students, Thaiveegan mentioned the case briefly.

“People have asked me whether police are covering up the case. We investigated it in detail.

“We have completed our investigations. Now, we have the green light to hold an inquest.

“We are fully committed to the case.”

Police had initially come under fire for not revealing the progress of their probe while Vasanthapiriya was still alive.

Thaiveegan today gave the teen’s parents a contribution as a token of compassion.

Police also handed financial aid to poor students at the dialogue. – February 22, 2018.