Chants to assault firemen heard on night of temple riot, inquest told

Witness Mohd Sharol Anuar Kamarudin leaves after attending the inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim at the Shah Alam Court Complex February 14, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Witness Mohd Sharol Anuar Kamarudin leaves after attending the inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim at the Shah Alam Court Complex February 14, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

SHAH ALAM, Feb 14 — Chants of “jangan padam, pukul bomba” (don’t put out fire, beat up firemen) were heard coming from rioters during the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple fracas, the inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was told today.

This was revealed by 27-year-old Mohd Sharol Anuar Kamarudin, who was also despatched as a nozzle man on the night of the incident to put out a burning car. He took the stand as the seventh witness on the fourth day of the inquest.

“The moment we arrived, I leapt out of the fire truck and was immediately met by the angry mob, with three men, armed with rods and what seemed like a Samurai sword, approaching me in an aggressive manner.

“I could hear in the background someone shouting ‘jangan padam, pukul bomba’ several times, and that was when I really feared for my safety and climbed back into the fire truck,” he said when questioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhafran Rahim Hamzah.

Mohd Sharol said he was unable to identify who exactly shouted the chants, saying the whole situation was chaotic and out of control.

Coroner Rofiah Mohammad presided over today’s proceedings, with Muhamamad Adib’s family lawyers Mohamad Kamaruzaman A. Hamzah, Yahya Othman and Syazli Mansor, and Suhakam lawyer Maha Ramakrishnan also present.

Mohd Sharol said he genuinely feared for his life, as their fire truck was being rocked and pelted with objects by the rioters.

“The whole situation was very chaotic. I was even scared to take my seat on the extreme left and hopped in the middle seat to feel safe,” he said.

Mohd Sharol said that was when the fire truck started to reverse out of the area, still being hit and pelted by the mob.

He said he managed to glance out the windscreen once from inside the truck, and saw a crowd surrounding the Emergency Medical Response Services (EMRS) van, which Muhammad Adib was supposedly in.

Mohd Sharol said they later arrived at the Subang Jaya district police station, and then only noticed Muhammad Adib was missing.

The inquest continues tomorrow at 9am.