JAWI: The attorney-general has given the green light for an inquest to be held into the death of teenager M. Vasanthapiriya.
Penang police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan said state police received the approval last week.
“We have completed investigation into the matter and have obtained approval from the AG for an inquest to be held. We are just waiting for a date to proceed with the inquest.
“Once we are given the date, we will make an official announcement,” he said after a dialogue with teachers and students from Tamil schools in the Seberang Prai Selatan district.
Thaiveegan said, for now, 30 witnesses would be called upon to testify at the inquest, which will be an open hearing.
“There may be more (people) testifying, depending on how the hearing goes,” he added.
Thaiveegan also gave his assurances that police would continue to carry out their job in a professional manner, and assured the public that there was no cause for concern.
“Just come forward if you have any information. That is the best,” he added.
It was reported that Vasanthapiriya, a Form Two student, died in hospital following a suicide attempt after being accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone last month.
The 14-year-old had vehemently denied the accusation, and penned a note proclaiming her innocence.
She hung herself in her home and was found by her father, who rushed her to the Seberang Jaya Hospital. She died without regaining consciousness on Feb 1.
Her death had sparked a huge outcry, with family, relatives and the public demanding that justice be served.
The teacher concerned, who has since been posted to a desk job at the district Education office, had lodged a police report after receiving death threats.
Thaiveegan, however, declined to comment on the matter when asked.
“Wait for the inquest. We can no longer comment on the case,” he said.
Earlier, during the dialogue session, Thaiveegan mentioned Vasanthapiriya’s case briefly.
“People have asked me whether police are covering up the case. We investigated it in detail.
“We have completed our investigations. Now, we have the green light to hold an inquest. We are fully committed to the case,” he said.
At the event, Thaiveegan also presented Vasanthapiriya's parents a contribution as a token of compassion.