Candlelight vigil, prayers for assault victim

GEORGE TOWN: Over two hundred people turned up at a candlelight vigil in Penang Hospital yesterday to pray for assault victim T. Nhaveen's speedy recovery.

Organised by non-governmental organisation (NGO) Tamilar Kural (Penang chapter), prayers were chanted by his family, friends and well-wishers for about half an hour from 8.30pm.

Many came to pray and provided positive vibes in their prayers for Nhaveen to regain consciousness after being warded since Saturday night.

NGO chairman S. Jegadish Waran said such vigils are expected to be held in major cities like Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Ipoh.

"We want Nhaveen to be back as he is," he said when met after the prayers session.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, Seri Delima assemblyman R. S. N. Rayer, and Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) councillors David Marshall and M. Satees joined in the vigil as well.

Nhaveen has been admitted to the ICU after he was assaulted and apparently sodomised about 2am on June 2 while out for supper with a friend, identified as T. Previin, 19.

Previin managed to escape but Nhaveen was not so lucky when the group cornered him at a nearby field during the incident.

Police have since detained five suspects, including two still in school, to assist in investigations and are also searching for the object purportedly used to sodomise the victim.

In a letter distributed to media later on, Ramkarpal said Deputy Chief Minister II Prof P. Ramasamy had written to Penang Hospital director Datuk Dr Norsidah Ismail urging hospital authorities to ensure Previnn's safety.

Ramasamy stated Previin was the only witness in this case and his safety should be looked into to avoid any unfortunate incident.

Ramkarpal, meanwhile, also hoped the hospital would release a medical report to Nhaveen's family soon.

He said the report was important to ensure a second opinion could be sought from another medical specialist.

He said swift action must be taken to save the youngster's life.

A copy of the letter to Norsidah was distributed to the media.

He added he would leave it to medical specialists to certify whether Nhaveen is "brain dead".

"It is sensitive to say this now as we need to respect the family.

"I am not a medical expert to say anything right now," he said while hoping for the youth's recovery.