SHAH ALAM: A witness told the Coroners Court here today that he had found fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim lying unconscious by the road on the night of the Seafield temple riot.
Suresh Surunariani, 33, said he saw a group of people surrounding a man lying motionless. He identified him as a fireman because he was in uniform.
“People were screaming ‘do not hit’ (jangan pukul) in Tamil. The unconscious man had his back against a car bumper.
“I was pushed to the front of the crowd and fell on the thigh of the man. I was also stepped on, on my right shoulder,” he said when questioned by conducting officer Zhafran Hamzah.
Suresh, a contractor, said he had gone to the temple in the early hours of Nov 27 last year after seeing reports of the incident on Facebook.
“I went to the temple to pray. When I stepped out, I heard explosive sounds across the temple and saw a crowd of people surrounding a burning vehicle.
“A fire truck was already there and I heard the crowd scream, ‘jangan kasi dia masuk’ (do not let the vehicle in) in Tamil,” Suresh said.
Suresh was also asked by housing and local government ministry lawyer Syazlin Mansor to reenact how he fell onto Adib.
“It seems that you were shielding him (the fireman) from the crowd when you fell,” Syazlin said.
Suresh said he informed his friend, Narresh Rajandran, about the unconscious fireman after he escaped from the crowd.
This prompted Narresh to seek help from the people to send the injured fireman to the nearest hospital.
Suresh said he stayed at the hospital until 4am and was told by doctors that the man was in serious condition. He only learnt that the fireman was Adib later on.
Narresh, who testified briefly today, said he heard people trying to chase away a fire truck deployed to the area to extinguish the fire on a vehicle.
The hearing continues on Feb 18 before coroner Rofiah Mohamad.
The inquest was called by the government amid conflicting claims on the cause of Adib’s death.
Adib was part of the response team sent from the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station on Nov 27. He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17.