Thousands pay last respects to Nhaveen

GEORGE TOWN: Thousands of mourners paid their last respects to assault victim T. Nhaveen at the Batu Gantong funeral parlour today afternoon.

When the coffin bearing Nhaveen's remains were taken out of the funeral parlour for the final rites at 3.55pm, his mother D.Shanti and relatives were overcome with emotion and wept profusely.

Earlier, cries of "I want justice" was heard from one of Nhaveen's relatives, as Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and exco members arrived at the funeral parlour.

A schoolmate of Nhaveen who declined to be named told theSun that he was a jovial and friendly person.

He said it was difficult to accept Nhaveen's fate, but added that he remained hopeful that this incident would serve to stem the tide of bullying cases.

Meanwhile, Lim called for stern action against the youths who assaulted Nhaveen.

He said school authorities have a role to play in ensuring bullying does not occur among students.

Lim also urged the Education Ministry to take steps to prevent similar cases in the future.

"It has to be stopped now," he said after handing an undisclosed amount of monetary aid to the family.

Deputy Chief Minister II Prof. P. Ramasamy also concurred with Lim, saying the authorities must step in to prevent such cases from happening.

"In this incident involving Nhaveen, the school authorities should have tackled the matter when the youth was bullied back then.

" It would make a difference if something had been done," he said.

He said a task force would be set up to tackle the issue of bullying and urged for the cooperation of the Education Ministry to tackle the problem.

"How many more lives are at risk if this issue is not tackled?"

Nhaveen, and a friend, T. Previin, 19, were buying burgers for supper during the 2am incident on June 9 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.