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Police investigates eyesight-loss claim by student

KOTA BARU, 10 April 2009: Police will investigate a student’s claim that he lost eyesight in his right eye after it was hit by a splinter from tear gas fired to disperse rioting Kelantan football fans at Stadium Sultan Muhammed IV here on 7 April.   

Kelantan police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said he has received a report on the incident that involved Muhammad Huzaifah Mohd Noor, 18, a student at the Industrial Training Institute at Pengkalan Chepa near here.

“We have also recorded a statement from the student … to get a true picture of what happened that night,” he said today.

Huzaifah was packing up the stall owned by cousin Abdul Rahman Hussein outside the stadium when an object hit his right eye. He failed to regain his eyesight even after a four-hour operation at Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital.

Abdul Rahim said police wanted to determine whether the object that injured the student’s eye came from the tear gas fired by police or from firecrackers thrown by rioting fans.

“If our investigation shows that his claim is true, then it is up to the student to take the next course of action. That is his right,” he said.

Angry football fans rioted on Tuesday after Kelantan lost 0-1 to Negeri Sembilan in an FA Cup match, torching several vehicles in the process. Police have detained three people and are searching for 28 others, mostly teenagers, to assist in the investigation.

The rioting was investigated under section 148 of the Penal Code for possession of weapons, section 435 for treason and section 332 for causing injury to a public officer. — Bernama

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