SHAH ALAM: A fireman lodged a report that the late Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was assaulted by rioters outside the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple last year although no one actually saw this, the coroner’s court heard today.
Badrul Hisham Salleh said he made the report at the SS13 police station in Subang Jaya a few hours after the incident based on the experience of fellow fireman Shahril Othman.
“I made the report that Adib sustained serious injuries after he was pulled out from the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van,” he said when questioned by conducting officer Hamdan Hamzah.
Badrul, who was the Fire and Rescue Department’s operations supervisor at the scene of the temple fracas, however said he did not see Adib being attacked by a mob.
“I assumed Abib would have undergone the same experience as Shahril,” he said.
Shahril yesterday told the inquest that some of the attackers had tried to pull the driver’s door open and that he had tried to prevent that. He said he was not aware of what happened to Adib who was seated on his left.
In the wee hours of Nov 27, nine firefighters, including Badrul, had rushed to the scene after being alerted by the public that a vehicle was on fire near the temple.
Adib was in the van driven by Shahril. They had accompanied the firefighters to give medical aid in case of injuries sustained during the assignment.
Badrul told the inquest that a policeman at the station told him that it was all right to frame the report in the manner in which he did.
To a question by Hamdan, the witness said he could have retracted the report but he was not in the right frame of mind after the incident.
Badrul said he later informed a police officer about the contents of the report when his statement was recorded for investigation.
Earlier, Badrul said they rushed to the scene about 1am (on Nov 27) after a car was torched near the temple.
However, he said a group of people rushed towards the fire engine and asked them to retreat.
“I told my men not to alight from the vehicle although we were eager to do our work,” he said.
However, he said two of the firefighters alighted from the vehicle.
“It was at this time that the mob threw stones and sticks at our vehicle.”
Badrul said this was the first time he had gone through such a harrowing experience while on duty.
He said some of the rioters also hung on to the vehicle.
The fifth witness in the inquest said he saw 50 to 100 people behaving in an unruly manner.
Badrul said, fortunately, the vehicle’s front windshield was not smashed or else they would not have left the scene safely.
Badrul said he did not see the fire truck colliding with the van as he was more concerned about objects being thrown by the rioters at their vehicle.
“The angry mob followed us for a short distance after we retreated. Thank God, nothing else happened,” he said, adding they later returned to their depot in Subang Jaya.
Adib was said to have been injured in the line of duty while attending to the fire outside the temple. He died on Dec 17 at the National Heart Institute.
The inquest before coroner Rofiah Mohamad continues tomorrow.