Attacked on social media, witness tells inquest rescuing Adib was civic duty

Witness Narresh Rajandran leaves after attending the inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim at the Shah Alam High Court February 18, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Witness Narresh Rajandran leaves after attending the inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim at the Shah Alam High Court February 18, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

SHAH ALAM, Feb 18 — A witness from the night of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple riots in Subang Jaya last November had gone out of his way to rescue an injured fireman because he took it as a civic responsibility.

Responding to threats and attacks against him on social media after he testified in the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kasim last Friday, R. Narresh, 30, said today he hoped people would see that his main intention was to save a person’s life.

“I am not here to put anyone down, nor am I here to blame anyone.

“I am here just to help Muhammad Adib and I hope the message gets across,” said the ninth witness of the inquest being held at the Shah Alam Coroner’s court this afternoon.

“I was thinking why would someone do this to a fireman who is here just to carry out his duties.

“The fireman would have been in more danger if the hospital was further away or if we did not bring him to one in time,” said Narresh.

He also detailed how he encouraged a fellow friend, eighth witness to the inquest S. Suresh, to come forward and give his statements to police, telling him that justice needs to be served for the late fireman.

“One person has already suffered, so we need to get justice for him, so I told Suresh not to be scared and lend his moral support to Muhammad Adib,” he said.

Narresh said he had travelled for 12 hours by train, bus, and car to try and attend Muhammad Adib’s funeral in Alor Setar, but by the time he arrived, the funeral was over.

“I couldn’t meet him after sending him to the hospital that night, then I was not allowed to see him when he was in IJN (National Heart Institute), and even his funeral I missed.

“I was broken; and that made me persuade Suresh to go and have his statements recorded with the police,” he said.

The 10th witness in the inquest, Mohd Hafizan Nordin. 33, who drove Narresh and Muhammad Adib to the Subang Jaya Medical Centre that night, also gave his testimony today.

The former military medical assistant told the court he was in the area that night after refuelling his Mitsubishi Storm.

He explained how Narresh had approached at least three other cars before asking him for help to ferry the injured fireman to hospital.

“I came down from my car and helped them carry the victim onto the rear section of my car before I drove off to the hospital.

“There were bruises I could see on the right side of his body, looked like they were inflicted by a hard and blunt object.

“From my experience, my assumption is the injuries could have even been inflicted from someone’s hand or a hard shoe sole,” he told the court today.  

The inquest continues tomorrow at 10am where the 11th witness is expected to take the stand.