SHAH ALAM, Feb 27 — The late Muhammad Adib Mohd Kasim had nodded in affirmation when asked if he was assaulted on the night of the Sri Maha Mariammam temple riots last November, the Shah Alam Coroner’s Court heard today.
The revelation was made by Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) station chief Syed Shahril Anuar Syed Sulaiman during proceedings of the inquest into Adib’s death this afternoon.
Syed Shahril Anuar was the 18th witness to take the stand during the 11th day of proceedings.
He explained to the court that during a visit to Adib in IJN on December 5, he was able to make simple interactions with the latter, communicating mostly in basic sign language.
Syed Shahril Anuar said he then asked Adib permission if he could pose him a question, with the latter showing a thumbs-up, giving him the green light.
“I asked Adib; were you assaulted?
“To which he nodded.
“I asked him again; is this correct?
“He then nodded again,” he said when relating post-riot events to Coroner Rofiah Mohamad Mansor.
He was responding to queries posed to him by government lawyer Hamdan Hamzah during the inquiry today.
Syed Shahril Anuar said he told Adib he had one more last question, where he asked the fireman if he was pulled or dragged by people that night.
“He nodded again, and this time started gesturing towards his shoulder area, signalling he was pulled out from that region,” he said.
Following the revelation, Syed Shahril Anuar said he had a chat with his state Bomba director Azmi Osman, where both of them agreed that a set of questions needed to be posed to Adib once he was fit to respond.
Syed Shahril Anuar said a week later, he returned to visit Adib, this time armed with a set of 15 questions to try and get to the bottom of the incident.
He explained to the court how the set of questions were not part of any internal investigations, but done on his own accord to establish the actual chain of events that night.
“Adib’s family told me he was making progress and was able to write using a whiteboard.
“I then went in and saw him, and gave him a pen to mark the answers he felt were the most accurate, or give me a thumbs-up for the correct answers,” he said.
Syed Shahril Anuar said Adib’s response to the questions then allowed him to deduce that victim was pulled out of the EMRS van from his shoulders as he tried to keep the doors shut, and was assaulted using weapons.
“However, he (Adib) was not able to remember, gesturing ‘no’ with his hands, when I asked if he remembered what weapons were used against him.
‘I asked if it was a stone, a stick, or a metal rod, but he could not give an answer.
Syed Shahril Anuar explained during this round of questions, Adib now was unable to remember if he fell after being pulled out of the van, or whether he was beaten after that.
“His answers also indicated the situation that night was stressful for Adib, gesturing answers that he felt (his safety was) threatened during the entire ordeal,” he told the court.
Adib’s hand-written answers also revealed to Syed Shahril Anuar the former had only regained consciousness when admitted at the Subang Jaya Medical Centre, unable to recall if he tried defending himself that night.
Syed Shahril Anuar said he had managed to visit Adib’s bedside at least four times before the latter passed away on December 17.
“On the day he passed away, I was on my way back to the fire station when I got a call from an IJN employee, informing me of a meeting,” he said.
He revealed that it was only revealed to him during a press conference the night that Adib had passed away.
The inquest continues tomorrow at 10.30am.