Deep sadness and cries of anguish as Nhaveen dies

GEORGE TOWN: Relatives and friends of assault victim T. Nhaveen gathered at the lobby of the intensive care unit (ICU) in Penang Hospital here today as news of his death spread.

The mood was one of deep sadness as cries of anguish echoed around the ground floor of the building.

Many could be seen in tears and hugging each other for comfort.

Nhaveen, who was brutally assaulted last week which purportedly left him brain dead, died this evening.

Northeast district police chief ACP Anuar Omar confirmed the death of the 18-year-old in a brief statement at 6.30pm.

He said the police beat base at the hospital was notified of the death at 6pm.

Lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh, who is speaking on behalf of the family, said the family was told Nhaveen died at 5.31pm.

He said the body was now at the mortuary for a post mortem.

He said he understood the autopsy would be conducted by renown forensic pathologist Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh.

He said the family was now discussing the funeral arrangements and appealed for privacy.

"We hope that justice will be done," he said.

Baljit said he also contacted the investigating officer (IO) to tell the case be reclassified to murder.

He nonetheless said this was the decision of the Attorney General to make.

An uncle, R. Thiyagarajan, said Nhaveen succumbed to his injuries but stressed the medical report was needed for confirmation.

He thanked those who have prayed for his nephew and urged for privacy.

Nhaveen, and a friend, T. Previin, 19, were buying burgers for supper during the 2am incident on June 2 at Jalan Kaki Bukit here.

Both were assaulted by a group of five youths after a bout of teasing escalated to a war of words.

Previin managed to escape the assault but Nhaveen did not when the attackers cornered him at a nearby field and was also allegedly sodomised.

Police have detained five youths, including two still in secondary school, to assist in investigations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said justice and stern action would be taken over Nhaveen's death.

"Saddened to receive news of the passing of T. Nhaveen. Condolences to the family. Justice and stern action will be taken against his assailants," he said in a post on Twitter today.

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