GEORGE TOWN: The family of M. Vasanthapiriya, who died following a suicide attempt after being accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone, hopes the truth behind the tragedy will be uncovered in soon-to-be-held inquest proceedings.
The teen’s father, R. Muniandy, 54, said only by finding out the truth could the family find closure over their loss.
He said for now, the family is still finding it hard to come to terms with Vasanthapiriya’s death.
“Never a day goes by when we do not think about our little girl.
“Indeed, we are grateful to the Attorney General (AG) for giving the green light for the inquest. We will finally know what happened.
“We really hope to get to the bottom of things and find out what triggered our girl to take her life, because the stolen iPhone was never found on her,” he said when contacted.
Muniandy also said that the family would like to see for themselves closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the incident, which supposedly exists.
“Certain media outlets (including the New Straits Times) recently reported that the CCTV footage allegedly shows Vasanthapiriya taking the phone.
“That is not true at all. Our girl would never have done such a thing. We want to know the contents of the CCTV footage,” he added.
Yesterday, Penang police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan told newsmen that the AG recently gave them the green light to hold an inquest into Vasanthapiriya’s death.
He said that police are still awaiting the date to commence the inquest, and that at least 30 witnesses will be called upon to testify.
It was reported that Vasanthapiriya, a Form Two student of SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal, died in hospital following an attempt to hang herself 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 Muniandy, who rushed the unconscious girl to the Seberang Jaya Hospital. She died on Feb 1.
Vasanthapiriya’s death sparked a huge outcry, with her family, relatives and the public demanding that justice be served.
The teacher concerned, who was subsequently posted to a desk job at the district education office, lodged a police report after receiving death threats.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Tamilar Kural president David Marshel, who has been with the family since the beginning in demanding justice, has urged the state Education Department to take action against the teacher.
He said the Penang Education Department has yet to take any action against the teacher, as it is awaiting information from the police.
“I believe the department has its own standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the teacher internally.
“So, why does it need to wait for the police?
“We demand to know the outcome of the department’s internal probe into the matter, and more importantly, we demand that the department tell us if (they feel that there has been) wrongdoing on the teacher’s part,” David added.