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Singapore riot: 4 more Indians charged

December 12
03:31 2013

Singapore riot 4 more Indians chargedSINGAPORE: Four more Indians were charged today for alleged rioting in Singapore’s worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years as police continued the crackdown on foreign workers, taking the number of Indians charged to 31.

Four Indians were charged in court in connection with riots in Little India, a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where most of the South Asian workers take their Sunday break, triggered by the death of an Indian in a road accident.

Sellamuthu Elangovan, 45, Ammasi Venkatesan, 27, Selarasu Dhanapal, 25, were accused of throwing pieces of hardened concrete at the police officers in response to the melee along Race Course Road in Little India, The Straits Times reported.

The fourth man, Arumugam Karthik, was said to have been a member of an unlawful assembly and accused of attacking – with a dustbin, wooden stick, hardened concrete, bottles and a metal drain cover – a private bus that fatally knocked down 33-year-old Sakthivel Kumaravelu at the junction of Tekka Lane and Race Course Road.

Kumaravelu died in the accident on Sunday night. The bus was to ferry South Asian workers from Little India to their dormitories.

Karthik, 24, was also accused of overturning and setting ablaze a police vehicle during the chaos.

The case involving the four would be heard on December 19.

Police said investigation against other Indians involved in the rioting was ongoing.

Twenty-seven Indian nationals had been charged in court till yesterday for the rioting.

The police has interrogated about 3,700 foreign workers from 10 dormitories across the island so far. Of these, 176 had their statements taken at the Criminal Investigation Department, including those who were subsequently arrested.

About 400 South Asian migrant workers were involved in the Sunday rampage that left 39 police and civil defense staff injured and 25 vehicles, including 16 police cars, damaged or burnt.

Singapore previously witnessed violence of such scale during race riots in 1969.

The Criminal Legal Aid Scheme was helping to secure lawyers for all the accused, its representative told the Court.

The Indian High Commission in Singapore was working with Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to facilitate consular access and support for all the accused.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has ordered the formation of a special committee to probe the incident and warned to use “full force of the law” against trouble-makers.–PTI

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