Prayer vigil for coma teen outside hospital

Together in prayer: A section of the crowd who gathered for the candlelight vigil at the Penang Hospital compound.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN - The Penang Hospital's compound was shrouded in sadness when a large crowd came together as one to offer prayers for 18-year-old assault victim T. Nhaveen.

Many, including family members and friends, could be seen fighting back tears as they chanted mantras during the 30-minute candlelight vigil.

Besides praying for Nhaveen's recovery, the group also dedicated the session to 19-year-old T. Previin, who is scheduled to undergo surgery for a fractured bone under his right eye today.

18-year-old student in Penang assaulted, sodomised and burnt

  • The boy, described as a kind, soft-spoken and gentle type who never went looking for trouble, was allegedly assaulted by a group of teenagers at around midnight on Saturday at a field in Jalan Kaki Bukit in Bukit Gelugor, and was sent to Penang Hospital in an unconscious state.
  • Nhaveen is now warded in the intensive care unit of Penang Hospital.
  • What has compounded his family's grief is the news that Nhaveen was sodomised and burned - news that they received only 36 hours after he was warded.
  • Nhaveen's uncle M. Vincent claimed that when his nephew was warded on Saturday, three medical officers attended to him but the family was told that he had not sustained external injuries.
  • Another uncle, R. Thivagarajan, 50, said it was no longer a normal assault case because Nhaveen was tortured.
  • "We want justice for him," he said.
  • "They told us Nhaveen had internal bleeding in his head and abdomen on the very first day.
  • "Only some 36 hours later, the doctors and nurses informed us that he was sodomised and there were burns on his back.
  • "The doctors also showed Nhaveen's mother and the investigating officer injuries to his anus and private parts," he told a press conference at the hospital yesterday.
  • Family friend Datuk Baljit Singh, who is also a lawyer, urged police to investigate the case thoroughly.
  • I was told by the family that the victim was sodomised.
  • "As the doctor said he was sodomised, please come and (interview) the doctor," he urged police.

Both of them were attacked by a group of people with helmets in Bukit Gelugor on Sunday. Nhaveen is in coma at the hospital.

Nhaveen's uncle R. Thiyagarajan briefed the crowd on the teen's condition and asked everyone to include him in their prayers.

The vigil was organised by a non-governmental organisation called Malaysian Tamil Kular.

Its Penang chairman S. Jegadish Waran said they would hold similar vigils in other states as well.

"We want to create a positive vibe for Nhaveen who is still fighting for his life.

"His condition is critical but we know that God is great," he said.

Also present were Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh and Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer.

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