GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A heated Facebook chat between a 15-year-old schoolgirl and some friends turned deadly when one of them came looking for her together with other family members.
The scuffle that followed led to the death of a man at the Jalan Kurau flats in Jelutong.
Mr Panjavarnam Perumal, 56, died after he was attacked by about six girls, aged between 15 and 20, armed with helmets, at about 11pm on Monday (Aug 22). The Form Two student's mother, Madam A. Rajeswari, 34, was also injured in the attack.
Madam Rajeswari, a factory worker, said she received a call at 10pm while she was at work from a girl who insisted on meeting her.
"I told her I was at work and would only be home at 11pm. When I got home, I saw a group of girls hanging around on the ground floor.
"I then went back to my flat on the first floor and my daughter told me that the girls were shouting profanities at her and she was afraid," she said on Tuesday (Aug 23).
Madam Rajeswari said she asked her uncle, Mr Panjavarnam, who lived with her, to talk to the girls and see what was going on.
"They told me that my daughter wrote disparaging remarks about them on Facebook and she should apologise.
"I told them what they were doing was very unbecoming as what they were shouting could be heard by the other residents.
"Two men also turned up to threaten us but they were not involved in the attack.
"We then walked away and they started to beat us with their helmets. I lost consciousness and woke up in an ambulance," she said.
Madam Rajeswari was discharged from the Penang Hospital after receiving treatment for bruises on her head and body.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said Mr Panjavarnam died on the way to the hospital. A post-mortem showed that he died of a heart attack.
"We arrested three girls and a man, aged between 15 and 23, at the scene and they have been remanded for six days pending investigations.
"The case has been classified as murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code."
He confirmed that the disparaging Facebook post led to the argument and the deceased, who worked as a cleaner, had tried to stop the argument but was beaten up, kicked and stepped on instead.