TTF: I thought long and hard before deciding to comment on the death of Vasanthapiriya, the 14-year-old schoolgirl from Nibong Tebal who has been all the news since her attempted suicide first became public. Journalists are all over her death, with many making an absolute mess of the whole affair by helping groups and organisations sensationalise the tragedy beyond limits of rationality.
The Malaysian Insight’s (TMI) Looi Sue-Chern quoted the president of the Penang based Malaysian Tamilar Kural (MTL), David Marshel, as saying that the police needed to make public its probe into the teen’s death. The Malay Mail Online helped Parent Action Groups prosecute the teacher in the court of public opinion by accusing her of “taking the law in her own hands.”
But none of this was as bad as what Marshel appeared to have told newsmen last Thursday. According to a report by NST Online (see news item below) yesterday, the MTL president equated Vasanthapiriya’s death to murder, meaning, he had legitimate reason to conclude that the teacher “killed the teen with malice aforethought or with recklessness manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
Now, this is a very serious allegation if indeed the report is true. Not only did Marshel undermine investigations currently underway, he violated the right of the teacher accused of causing the teen’s death to a fair inquiry by presenting investigators with grounds for bias. And that begs the question – are the relevant authorities planning to seek a clarification from this fellow?
It is one thing to accuse someone of murder. It is another to do so when it concerns a matter of such import. You just simply can’t go around crying murder unless you have evidence, or, at the very least, reasons material to the case of interest to back your claim. Can Marshel respond to this article by making public those reasons?
If he can’t within the next 24 hours, I shall undertake to lodge a police report against him on two counts – one, for a possible attempt on his part to interfere with the course of justice, and two, for implying that the police may have something to cover up (see news item below). My report shall seek an investigation by the police to determine if indeed Vasanthapiriya was murdered.
That having been said, what are our lawyers and the Bar Council doing about this? Shouldn’t they be the ones attempting to clear up misconceptions that may have arisen as the result of the MTL president’s claim? Why am I the one who has to do the dirty job? Why do they appear efficient only when it concerns matters of political interest and not those of general concern?
Tell me, is the indifference displayed by these guys not helping fuel perception that a person is “guilty in the court of public opinion until proven innocent by the court of law?”
SEBERANG JAYA: ‘This is not a suicide, this is a murder!’ the Malaysian Tamilar Kural (MTL) president thundered on Thursday, following the death of a 14-year-old schoolgirl who died after being in a coma since Jan 24.
David Marshel slammed what he called inaction by the Education Department and the police for not investigating a teacher who had accused the girl of stealing her iPhone last week – a charge the girl vehemently denied.
The Form Two girl passed away at the Seberang Jaya Hospital at 3.30am on Thursday, prompting David to demand that police take action against the teacher and her husband for allegedly threatening and striking the student, to the point that she attempted suicide at her home last week.
“We lodged a police report last week, about four days ago. And yet, till today, we have not heard anything from the Education Department or the police.
“Why the silence? Why have they not responded to queries made by newsmen so far? Are they trying to cover (something) up?
“This is considered a high-profile case. Malaysians are looking at this. (The authorities) must respond and take necessary action,” he said when met at the hospital here.
A student at a school in Nibong Tebal, the girl had apparently been summoned by four teachers last Wednesday and quizzed over the disappearance of one of the teachers’ mobile phones.
Despite her repeated denials, one of the teachers reportedly struck the student for failing to own up to the theft.
The teacher and her husband – who is a teacher from another school – allegedly threatened to lodge a police report on the matter.
The girl, however, maintained her innocence and her father, Muniandy, who was told about the case later, was adamant that she did not do it.
Overcome with emotion, the girl later tried to hang herself at home. She was found unconscious but alive by Muniandy, who rushed her to hospital. She died without ever regaining consciousness.
Her funeral is expected to be held tomorrow.
David said that MTL will provide a lawyer for the family to advise them on the next course of action.
“We demand justice. We have launched a campaign to inform the people about this case.
“This is not an isolated case, as there are other similar cases. This teacher had emotionally bullied the child until she decided to take her own life,” he added.
Source: NST Online