Adib told me he was pulled from behind and beaten, medical assistant tells inquest

Muhammad Ashraf Baruji.

SHAH ALAM: A National Heart Institute (IJN) medical assistant today said fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim indicated to him that he was pulled from behind and beaten up during the Seafield temple fracas.

“We communicated using sign language and a whiteboard,” Muhammad Ashraf Baruji, who took care of Adib at IJN for 21 days, told the inquest into his death today.

Ashraf was tasked with cleaning Adib and assisting him in simple physiotherapy exercises every night after he was admitted to IJN’s intensive care unit (ICU) on Nov 28 last year.

He recalled a night at the ICU when conducting officer Hamdan Hamzah asked about his interaction with Adib during his stay.

“It was after physiotherapy when I asked him if he remembered what happened on the night of the temple riots.

“He shook his head and I told him that when he was ready to speak, he could tell me the story,” he said.

As he was about to leave the room, Ashraf said Adib pulled the sleeve of his shirt.

Ashraf gave Adib the whiteboard and asked him if he was pulled down by the crowd.

“He responded by using his left hand to show as if he was pulled from behind his shoulder. When I asked him if he was beaten up, he nodded,” he said.

Ashraf said he discussed this with IJN cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Mohamed Ezani Md Taib during the Christmas period.

”We watched a football match in the ICU ward but I cannot recall which game it was. I could see that Adib liked football and lifted his arms when a team scored a goal,” he said.

The medical assistant broke down when he said he was unable to buy Adib a fruit drink as promised.

“He wrote on the whiteboard asking for fruit juice. I told him I would be the first person to get him a fruit juice if he recovered,” he said.

Ashraf also said he went to visit Adib’s parents in Alor Setar, Kedah, and visited the fireman’s grave several days after Adib was buried.

Adib was part of a response team sent from the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station to the temple area on Nov 27 after cars had been set on fire. He died at IJN on Dec 17.

The hearing continues tomorrow before coroner Rofiah Mohamad.