SHAH ALAM, Feb 27 — A witness today told the Coroner’s Court here he saw about 30 people encircle and attack a prone target during the Sri Maha Mariamman temple riots last November.
The 17th witness into the inquest of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death, Nassaruddin Abdullah, 22, said the group first surrounded an Emergency Medical Response Service (EMRS) van after it was turned by a reversing fire truck that collided with it.
Nassaruddin said he noticed a bright light coming from the van, as though its side door had been opened, just as a group of people gathered.
The group then crowded around an object, but Nassaruddin said he was not positive if it had been a person.
“Some of them were shouting profanities such as ‘berani korang masuk dalam kuil India’ (How dare you enter the temple),” he said.
Answering government lawyer Hamdan Hamzah, he said around six people in the group began punching, kicking and stomping at the unidentified target in the middle of the crowd.
Not all in the crowd participated in the attacks but were shouting, he said before Coroner Rofiah Mohamad Mansor.
Moments later, someone yelled “Police! Police!” and caused the group to disperse and run in the direction of the temple, he added.
“I was turning around looking for my friend and when I looked back at where the mob was, I saw people already carrying someone wearing only Bomba (Fire and Rescue Department) pants,” he said.
When asked to elaborate, Nassaruddin said he knew the person was shirtless as he could see his bare torso.
He said the incident involving the group took probably a minute at most, and that several others were seen filming the group of people carrying the injured fireman away from the scene.
Nassarruddin’s testimony had also corroborated with previous witnesses’ accounts of events that night, including how the fire truck was attacked by a horde of people jumping on it and hurling projectiles such as bottles, stones, and helmets towards it.
He had also related how he noticed a car on fire the moment he arrived, and how rescue workers bailed from the scene once being attacked by the crowd.