SEBERANG PERAI, Feb 2 — Close to 500 friends and relatives of teenager Vasanthapiriya Muniandy turned up to bid her farewell in a traditional Hindu funeral in Kampung Tong Hai today.
Wails and screams of despair filled the air as her classmates visited her home to say their final goodbyes.
Many were inconsolable as they sobbed in each other’s arms while calling out the 13-year-old’s name.
Many other students, still in their school uniforms, turned up for the funeral service at her house which is just 500m away from the school.
Her parents and close relatives, who stood around her coffin in the final funeral rites, were also wailing and sobbing as they called out her name.
Some of her classmates were still in shock that Vasanthapiriya had passed away.
“She was a good person, always friendly and chatted with everyone,” one of them said.
Another classmate said he saw the teacher scolding Vasanthapiriya on that fateful day but he did not know what it was all about.
The classmate said he could not believe that Vasanthapiriya could have stolen the teacher’s handphone.
The classmate added that the teacher was always strict and somewhat mean to students.
“I don’t understand why the teacher singled her out.
“All this over an iPhone 6? She said she didn’t take it and we believe she didn’t take it,” another schoolmate said.
Most of the students, who turned up for the funeral, were reluctant to talk to the media as they were worried about repercussions.
Vasanthapiriya hanged herself in her room in the evening of January 24 after her teacher allegedly accused the teen of stealing her handphone.
The teacher had allegedly confined her in a classroom for hours while trying to force her to admit to the theft.
The student left a suicide note stating that she did not steal the handphone.
She was found unconscious and was comatose in the intensive care unit of the Seberang Jaya Hospital for a week before she passed away at 3.30am yesterday.
The funeral cortege left Vasanthapiriya’s home at about 2pm today for the burial ceremony at the Hindu burial ground in Jalan Changkat, Nibong Tebal.