GEORGE TOWN: A brain-dead teenager who was brutally assaulted and sodomised last Friday night succumbed to his injuries at the Penang Hospital today, police said.
Northeast district police chief ACP Anuar Omar said police were notified by the hospital that T Nhaveen, 18, had died at 6pm.
Anuar did not respond to queries on whether the case will now be classified as murder but told the press that more information will be provided later.
However, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, when contacted at a function in Kuala Lumpur, said the case would be reclassified as murder.
According to one of Nhaveen’s relatives who did not want to be named, Nhaveen had died of heart failure.
He was assaulted by five youths with crash helmets late Friday night.
The five, aged 16 to 19, have been remanded for rioting.
Nhaveen suffered internal bleeding and injuries to his abdomen and private parts. He also had cigarette burn marks on his back.
His anus had been penetrated with a blunt object.
He was placed at the brain-related intensive care unit of Penang Hospital.
Relatives allowed access to Nhaveen had said that Nhaveen’s heart rate had fluctuated from “good to not good”. However, they had hoped that he would recover from his “coma-like” state.
The assault on Nhaveen garnered nationwide interest, with an NGO planning to hold candlelight vigils in Ipoh, Klang Valley and Johor Bahru today.
Last night, a crowd of 200 people held prayers outside the hospital for his recovery.
More than half the crowd did not even know Nhaveen, but were there to show moral support.
Nhaveen’s mother, D Shanti, 43, had been inconsolable from the day he was taken to hospital up till the candlelight vigil last night.