The Coroner's Court in Shah Alam today found that the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, who was injured in the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple riots last year, was the result of a criminal act or an attack by unknown persons.

Coroner Rofiah Mohamad, who read out the decision, also blamed the failure of the police to take action at the time of incident.

She cited the findings by an expert witness that Adib was forcefully pulled out of the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van in his he was seated in, and he did not alight the vehicle by himself.

She also said that the blunt force trauma on Adib's chest was not self-inflicted, but caused by two to three persons.

The court said it is now up to the police to carry out further investigations on the matter and the Attorney-General's Chambers to prosecute.

A total of 30 witnesses were called to testify in the inquest, which ended on July 24. It was called after two conflicting versions on the cause of Adib's death emerged - one that said he was hit by the EMRS van, while the other said he was beaten by a mob.

The court heard testimonials from both experts and witnesses at the scene, during the 41-day proceedings.

Adib, 24, was seriously injured in the riots at the Seafield temple in Subang Jaya, on November 27, last year.

He succumbed to his injuries at the National Heart Institute (IJN) on Dec 17.

He was engaged to be married. Adib's family, including his fiancee, Nurul Najihah Mohd Radzi, 25, was present at the Coroner's Court to observe the decision today.

Also present were Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, a group of lawyers representing Adib's family, and Fire and Rescue Services Department personnel.

A peaceful gathering was carried out outside the court complex today by Muslim NGO Ummah and opposition politicians, who had sought to give the incident a racial twist and accused the government of a cover-up in the case.

Banners calling for Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to step down over his alleged failure to bring those arrested in connection with the riots to face justice, were also spotted outside the court.

There was heavy police presence both inside and outside the complex, to screen and register those attending the proceedings, as well as be on standby in case the situation turned ugly.

Photo source: Astro Awani