Vasanthapiriya’s dad offered to buy teacher a new phone, inquest hears

M Vasanthapiriya died earlier this year after attempting to take her life.

GEORGE TOWN: The inquest into the death of teenager M Vasanthapiriya, who was accused of stealing her teacher’s iPhone, continued today with the coroner’s court hearing that her father had offered to buy the teacher a new phone.

Vasanthapiriya’s brother, M Meharaj, told the court his father R Muniandy had assured the teacher and her husband that he would buy them a new phone, even if his daughter had not taken the iPhone.

“My father told the teacher and her husband at home that he would investigate about her stolen phone and buy a new phone for the teacher.

“He said it did not matter if Vasanthapiriya stole the phone or not, he would get a new phone for the teacher,” the 16-year-old told coroner Norsalha Hamzah.

Vasanthapiriya, a 13-year-old 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 mobile phone.

She was saved by her father who then sent her to hospital. However, she never regained consciousness and died on Feb 1.

Her case gained national attention after her uncle filed a police report claiming she had been confined by her teacher at the school before being driven home some five hours later.

In an attempt to clear the air over the confusion of facts related to the case and the resultant “trial by media”, the police requested an inquest into her death for all evidence to be brought into an open court.

Today marked the second day of the inquest, with six witnesses called in so far.

Besides Vasanthapiriya’s brother, her elder sister Himapria and schoolmate S Tharisini also testified in court today.

Representatives of a teachers’ union attend the inquest into M Vasanthapiriya’s death today.

A schoolteacher told the inquest yesterday that Vasanthapiriya had admitted to being the accomplice of another friend in taking the phone.

S Paramasivam, 47, told the court that the teenager had admitted to this after being shown CCTV footage of her and another person entering the staff room.

“She initially denied it, but when I showed her the CCTV footage, she said ‘we did it’,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

According to Paramasivam, Vasanthapiriya had said she was merely keeping watch outside the staff room to monitor any movements while the other person went into the room.

Parmjit Singh, the lawyer for Vasanthapiriya’s family.

The witnesses were questioned by inquest officer JS Kameni today while Vasanthapiriya’s family lawyer Parmjit Singh held a watching brief.

Norsalha then adjourned the session and set June 4 to July 4 to 6 for hearing.

Outside the courtroom, Parmjit said an application had been submitted to the court to visit key places such as SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal and Vasanthapiriya’s home at Kampung Tong Hai, Nibong Tebal.

“We have made the request to the coroner as we can’t rely on the statements made by the witnesses alone. We need to see the places of the incident ourselves,” he said.