7 Revelations From The Inquest Into Fireman Adib's Death So Far
The inquest proceedings into the death of 24-year-old fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim has been ongoing since Monday, 11 February
Adib, who is also known as "Fireman Adib" to the public, obtained serious injuries at the second Sri Maha Mariamman temple riot in USJ 25, Putra Heights on Tuesday, 27 November.
The riots erupted as a result of a misunderstanding over the temple's relocation between its' devotees and the developers, including One City Development Sdn Bhd. The police, Fire and Rescue Department, and even the Federal Reserve Unit had to be deployed to curb the situation.
Adib initially showed signs of recovery, but three weeks later on 16 December, he was placed back on respiratory support. He passed away a few hours later.
The proceedings will be carried out in stages for a total of 52 days with 30 witnesses stepping forward to give testimonies
Mohd Kamaruzaman A. Wahab, who is leading a five-person legal team that represents Adib's family, told New Straits Times that the proceedings will be carried out in stages.
The first stage will be held from 11 to 28 February, while the remaining stages will be carried out on 1, 4, 5, and 19 to 29 March, and 1 to 12 April.
The witnesses are comprised of Fire and Rescue Department personnel who had responded to an emergency call on the day of the incident, eye-witnesses at the scene, doctors, as well as the medical team which had treated Adib, said Kamaruzaman.
1. At least two of Adib's colleagues have testified that they did not see him exit the van during the riots
New Straits Times reported that one of the witnesses who matched this statement was the driver of the Emergency Medical Response Service (EMRS) vehicle, Ahmad Shahril Othman.
On 11 January, Shahril testified that both he and Adib were inside the EMRS vehicle when the fire rescue truck (FRT) had reversed into their vehicle.
"I was still talking to him during the incident and said something about how one of our comrades known as 'Azim' had acted swiftly in exiting the FRT in front of us to put out the fire," added Shahril.
He added that when the FRT reversed into their van, Adib had been stunned and held onto the dashboard.
In a separate testimony on 14 February, fireman Muhammad Hazim Rahimi - the 'Azim' mentioned by Shahril - said that he had exited the FRT in order to put out the fire, but was chased by weapon-bearing members of the mob.
To escape them, he "ran to the rear side of the EMRS van that was parked behind the fire truck", reported The Star.
"I opened the door, went in, closed it and hid," said Azim, adding that he saw Adib sitting in the front passenger seat of the EMRS van.
2. In a separate testimony, Shahril said that it took "50 seconds" for Adib to disappear from his sight
On 13 February, New Straits Times reported Shahril as saying, "I didn't notice (what happened to Adib). It was chaotic. I couldn't see Adib when the van began to turn after being rammed by the FRT vehicle. The door was still shut."
"I saw him before the van was being pushed back, but 50 seconds later he was gone. When the vehicles first touched, he was still there but when the rioters attacked, I could not see him," Shahril added.
Earlier in his testimony, Shahril said he "saw a group of people running towards" the EMRS after the FRT had rammed into them.
"Three of them, wearing motorcycle helmets, banged on my window and tried to open the door. I held on to the steering wheel and tried to hold on to the door as it wasn't locked."
3. The two vans had been immediately attacked by a mob upon their arrival at the scene of the incident
"As soon as we arrived, there were about 50 people who marched towards our vehicles and screamed ‘bomba jangan padam api ini’ (do not put out the fire)," said Md Elliza Mohd Noor, who was driving the FRT.
"Suddenly, I saw a man running towards my vehicle and slamming a white pole the size of a takraw net pole against our windshield," he added, as reported by New Straits Times.
Elliza added that other hard objects such as crash helmets and bricks had been thrown at their vehicles.
The Star reported that in Azim's testimony, he claimed that someone in the group that chased him was holding a long object that resembled a samurai sword.
4. Adib's colleagues only realised he was missing when they arrived back at the police station
Elliza added in his testimony that when both the EMRS and FRT vehicles managed to escape, they went to the police station at USJ 8. It was only then that they realised Adib was missing.
"We tried to contact him (Adib) several times but he did not answer his handphone. About 15 to 20 minutes later, we received a call from the public that they were sending Adib to Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC)," he said, reported New Straits Times.
5. The extent of Adib's injuries point towards blunt force trauma, rather than assault, being the cause of his death
Dr Nantha Kumeran, who treated Adib when he was brought to the emergency department at Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC), said there were four fractures on the right side of Adib's ribs and a collapsed lung, reported theSun.
"I examined him and noticed that there were no marks on his face and neck, his limbs were not broken, but there were bruises on his upper right chest wall and shoulders," he explained.
"When I felt the bruise, I could hear a cracking sound. It felt like broken ribs. I suspected initially that it was Pneumothorax, which is a collapsed lung."
In a separate testimony, reported Free Malaysia Today, SJMC cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Anand Sachithanandan said, "For injuries sustained from assault, it is unusual to be confined to one area. Normally we expect self-defence wounds if a person is assaulted but we did not see it on him."
6. A witness who assisted in bringing Adib to the hospital said he saw a footprint on his body
R. Narresh said on 18 February that he managed to get a closer look at Adib's condition once he got into the Mitsubishi Storm 4WD he had managed to flag down for help, reported The Star.
"His eyes were closed and he did not speak. All I could think of was protecting his head," he said, adding that he cleaned the fireman's body on the way to the hospital.
During the ride, he also noticed that Adib's right side of the body was swollen.
"I saw that the right side of his ribs was lebam (swollen). It was noticeable, you can see that it was reddish as he had fair skin. I [also] saw that there was sand on his body and a shoe print on the right side of his ribs," he said.
7. One witness claimed that alcohol was being consumed during the riot
Amirrul Adli M. Yussli was passing by the site of the incident before the FRT and EMRS arrived.
When he stopped, there was already a car that was up in flames, reported Malay Mail.
He described the scene as "chaotic and deafening" adding that some in the crowd were consuming alcohol.