The fact that Nhaveen was attacked and assaulted due to his being ‘soft’ cannot be dismissed by the police

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It is appalling that a teenager, the victim of a hate crime, lied on a hospital bed brain dead, and no one in authority seems to be troubled by the bloodcurdling incident. The 18-year-old T Nhaveen died on Thursday.

In fact, it is the opposition expressing all the concern with Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh urging the police to investigate the brutal assault and sodomy of Nhaveen as attempted murder and not just a case of bullying.

“The brutal assault and alleged sodomy of teenager Nhaveen has shocked the nation and must be investigated thoroughly for justice to be done not only for him but also his family.

“The incident is most vile and seems to have been unprovoked. It is not merely a case of ragging or bullying as widely reported but quite possibly one of attempted murder, particularly when it appears as though Nhaveen was overwhelmed by the number of his assailants.

“Furthermore, there seems to be evidence of injuries indicative of sodomy which must also be investigated.

“The extent of Nhaveen’s severe injuries suggests his assailants were well aware that their actions could possibly result in his death which is something that cannot be ruled out at this stage,” Ramkarpal bemoaned in a statement dated June 14.

It was reported that Nhaveen was abducted by a group of former schoolmates when he went to a burger stall in Taman Tun Sardon late Friday night after accompanied by his friend Previin for supper.

Nhaveen was allegedly taken to a field by six men, where they continued their severe assault beating him with helmets and torturing him, according to his friend Previin.

Previin, who was with him, was seriously hurt, suffering crushed cheekbones as a result of the assault.

Nhaveen meanwhile was found unconscious at a field in Jalan Kaki Bukit in Bukit Gelugor, George Town, Penang. He has been declared brain dead at the Penang Hospital while Previin is receiving treatment at the same hospital.

While the police have arrested five men, aged 16 to 18 all who are initially being investigated under Section 148 of the Penal Code for rioting with weapons, it would a travesty of justice should the police failed to fathom the gravity of the abuse, labelling it as a mere “riot”.

The fact that Nhaveen was attacked and assaulted due to his being “soft” cannot be dismissed by the police. By that virtue alone, the case cannot not be classified as a “hate crime”.

So how the police concluded the appalling incident as a “riot” is puzzling, given that the victim Nhaveen did not retaliate by attacking the perpetrators.

When naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman, 21, a third year Electrical Engineering student, died at the Serdang Hospital on June 1 after suffering bruises and burns on his body, allegedly due to torture by his university mates, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein promised to leave no stone unturned in unearthing the truth.

Hishammuddin even set up a special unit which would report directly to him on matters relating to Zulfarhan’s death.

The Defence Minister had announced that the unit, led by Armed Forces chief Gen Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor would complement the board of inquiry established earlier, as well as the ongoing police investigation.

Hishammuddin had said that via the unit, he hoped to personally interview the cadet’s friends and also review things that needed to be improved in the recruit training and management system at the Military Training Academy (ALK) and the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) minus the bureaucracy.

Why has no such concern has been declared in Nhaveen’s case? The wall of silence in Nhaveen’s case has enslaved not only premier Najib Razak and deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi but also Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Rohani Karim – federal ministers in charge of portfolios with point-blank relevance to the well-being of the people.

It would be another blow to Nhaveen’s family if they interpret the federal government’s pause on their anguish as racially motivated.

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