Temple devotees appeal to participate in Adib’s inquest

An inquest next week is set to focus on the death of fireman Muhammad Adib who was allegedly attacked during violence outside the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple last year.

SHAH ALAM: A group opposed to the relocation of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Seafield is appealing against the Coroner’s Court decision barring it from being a party in the upcoming inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Lawyer M Visvanathan, who is representing the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple task force, today filed court papers together with a certificate of urgency, but failed to get a hearing today as court staff were on leave for the Chinese New Year holidays.

“We hope the revision could be heard on Thursday or Friday before the inquest begins on Monday,” he told FMT.

The inquest begins on Feb 11.

Visvanathan said a copy of his clients’ revision application had been faxed to the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office here.

The task force said there could not be an “investigation in vacuum” into Adib’s death by excluding them from the inquest.

It said the public impression was that they refused to move out from the site and the developer, One City Development, had engaged thugs to forcibly remove them.

“The temple task force must be made an interested party as the coroner will also have to decide who caused the riot and whether the fireman was assaulted,” it said.

In November last year, several vehicles were torched when protests erupted over an attack on the temple by unknown men.

Adib was among firemen rushed to the scene to douse the flames. He was allegedly assaulted during the chaos. He died some three weeks later.

Visvanathan said the task force must be allowed to examine witnesses and be supplied with all documents related to the inquest.

Last week, coroner Rofiah Mohamad ruled that the temple task force and devotees would not be allowed to participate in the inquest.

She said there were no “substantive, genuine and reasonable grounds” to make them “interested parties”.

“This inquest is not about pinpointing criminal liability but to assist the court into the cause of the deceased’s death,” she said.

Lawyer Siti Kasim appeared for the devotees.

The inquest will be held from Feb 11 to 28, March 1 to 5, March 19 to 29 and April 1 to 12, with 30 witnesses expected to testify.