The tragic news of the passing of student T. Nhaveen, who was brutally assaulted by a group of youths in Penang last Saturday caused an instant outcry on social media networks.
The death of Nhaveen has now been re-classified as murder, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The 18-year old died at the Penang Hospital at 6pm on Thursday.
In the 2.10am incident at Jalan Kaki Bukit, Nhaveen and another person, aged 19, were buying burgers when they spotted two individuals known to them and they allegedly started mocking each other, before six others arrived.
Nhaveen and the teenager were believed to have been hit with crash helmets, as well as punched and kicked by the group before the teenager fled the scene and informed his uncle of the incident.
The case was initially being investigated under Section 148 of the Penal Code for rioting with weapons.
Nhaveen died at 5.31pm yesterday, shortly after friend T. Previin was wheeled out of the operating theatre after surgery to his right eye.
Earlier today, India’s iconic music composer A. R. Rahman, who was Nhaveen’s idol, posted on his Twitter:
“Dear Nhaveen, prayers & love for a speedy recovery. Let all acts of savagery end & people come to senses … Peace!” with replies to the tweet from the public informing Rahman of Nhaveen’s death.
A Chennai-based online news portal in India also tweeted about Nhaveen, with the headline “This #Malaysian ‘brain dead’ teen wanted to be like #ARRahman.”
A petition was started on www.change.org by R. Mukhesh entitled ‘Justice For T. Nhaveen And For All Bullied Victims’ that has so far gained 4,782 supporters.
A leading Tamil music director-cum-actor from India, Vijay Antony shared on his Facebook page the petition with the status ‘RIP (Rest In Peace)’.
Netizens on Facebook lead the outcry in Malaysia.
A campaign is now on, calling on citizens to prevent bullying in Malaysia’s society.
Nhaveen and his friend were allegedly beaten up by five youths, believed to be their ex-schoolmates, while buying burgers in Bukit Gelugor, Penang.
While his friend escaped, Nhaveen was later found unconscious in a field with serious injuries including burns on his back and signs that a blunt object had been shoved into his anus.
Some netizens are calling for the killers to be sent to the gallows.