BUTTERWORTH: The Penang police will hold an inquest into the death of teen M Vasanthapiriya, who attempted suicide after being accused of stealing her teacher’s phone.
This comes after the public prosecutor’s office gave its approval on Tuesday for the police to delve deeper into the case of the 14-year-old girl who eventually died in hospital from complications arising from her suicide attempt.
State police chief Commissioner A Thaiveegan said the police are now awaiting a court date.
“After a date is fixed, we will call over 30 people to testify,” he said when met by reporters at the South Seberang Perai district police headquarters here today.
He added the inquest will be held in open court.
An inquest is usually held when there are reasons to suspect that a person has died in a sudden or unnatural manner. It is held by a coroner, usually a presiding magistrate.
It is not a trial, where a person could be found guilty of an offence or civilly liable, but is merely a fact-finding mission.
Vasanthapiriya, a Form Two student of SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal, attempted to take her own life on Jan 24 after being accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone.
She was saved by her father who then sent her to hospital. However, she never regained consciousness and died on Feb 1.
Vasanthapiriya’s case garnered national attention after her uncle filed a police report stating that she was allegedly confined by her accuser in school before being driven home some five hours later.
Earlier, Thaiveegan held a talk with students and teachers from the South Seberang Perai (SPS) district on resolving conflicts in school.
In his talk, he advised teachers and students on appropriate measures to take when problems occur, especially when there is a dispute.
“I advised the teachers on analysing behaviour patterns and what are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to conflicts, disputes and problematic students,” Thaiveegan said.
The talk was attended by 400 students, 60 teachers and staff from the SPS district education office.