Tahfiz school fire probe completed, say police

Noor-Rashid-IbrahimKUALA LUMPUR: Police have completed their investigations into the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school fire that resulted in the deaths of 21 students and two teachers two weeks ago.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim however, said not all the underaged suspects were directly involved in the alleged act of arson that had caused the fire.

“They could have been involved in discussions about setting the school on fire but they were not actively involved in setting the blaze.

“We will only take action against those who played an active role while the others, who did not play an active role in the arson, will be prosecuted under drug offences and they could be made the prosecution’s witnesses,” he told reporters at a press conference in Bukit Aman today.

He was referring to the seven boys, aged 11 to 18, who were arrested based on CCTV footage from neighbouring premises.

Rashid added that the police are currently in discussions with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) following which police would pursue the prosecution against some of the youths, by tomorrow or soonest possible.

On Sept 14, a fire broke out at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school at Jalan Keramat Ujung in Datuk Keramat, here.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh at a press conference on Sept 16, said the seven boys had allegedly set the school on fire because they were believed to have been mocked by its students.

Six of the suspects had tested positive for drugs. They had been arrested on Sept 15.

On another issue, Rashid said that he will be leading a task force to curb online illegal gambling activities.

“We admit that it is hard to nab the alleged culprits and bring them to justice because of the shortcomings in evidence gathering and it involves modern technology,” he said, adding that most gambling servers are located overseas.

He added because of these shortcomings, police could not take action against the culprits under the gambling laws but they could take action under the state’s entertainment enactments.

Rashid also said the police had roped in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and internet service providers to help them nab those allegedly involved.

“We received the public’s complaints and we are serious in wanting to put an end to the online gambling problem,” he said.