Three more Indians charged with rioting

Singapore, Dec 11 — Three Indian nationals were charged in court with rioting Wednesday, bringing the total number of accused facing charges for Sunday’s melee in Little India to 27, a media report said.

The first group of 24 Indians were hauled up to court Tuesday. The latest suspects to be charged are Rajendran Ranjan, 22, Moorthy Kabildev, 24, and Sathiyamoorthy Sivaraman, 36, the Straits Times said.

All three are accused of being part of an unlawful assembly and attacking – with a dustbin, wooden stick, hardened concrete, bottles and a metal drain cover – a private bus which ran over and killed an Indian, Sakthivel Kumaravelu, at the junction of Tekka Lane and Race Course Road.

They have been remanded for further investigations and will return to court Jan 18.

Lawyer Amarick Gill told the court on behalf of the Law Society that the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) was available to the three suspects. He had done the same when the first 24 suspects were charged.

Judge Soh Tze Bian earlier sent the 24 Indian nationals to police remand for a week to facilitate further investigations. The case was adjourned till Dec 17.

A Law Society spokesperson said it would work with the Indian High Commission to provide legal aid to the men.

The riots, involving some 400 South Asian workers, broke out after an Indian was killed in an accident in the Little India ethnic neighbourhood, known for Tamil cultural elements and aspects of other Indian cultures.

The driver involved in Sunday night’s accident was charged Tuesday with causing death by negligence.

Mobs attacked officers who responded to the accident, but police said they did not fire a single shot while trying to bring the situation under control.

It was the biggest riot in Singapore in some 40 years. Around 22 police officers who sustained injuries have been discharged after treatment in hospital.

The protesters also damaged 16 police vehicles. Authorities classified it as “rioting with dangerous weapons”.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered his deepest condolences to the family of Sakthivel Kumaravelu, the accident victim, and urged people to remain calm and continue with their daily lives.

The prime minister Monday ordered a probe committee to be set up to investigate the incident.


Source: IANS

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