Saturday 22 October 2016

Indian Jailed for 25 Months in Little India Riots

Gurdip Singh Singapore

A 42-year-old Indian was today jailed for 25 months in Singapore for instigating the Little India riots last December, becoming the sixth Indian to be convicted in the country's worst street violence in 40 years.

The prison sentence of Samiyappan Sellathurai was backdated to his arrest on December 15, 2014 at the airport here when he was trying to leave Singapore.

Described as an "instigator" in the riot, Samiyappan admitted to smashing a concrete slab and throwing the pieces at civil defence personnel and public service vehicles while intoxicated during the riot on the night of December 8.

He also smashed a metal rack against a wall at a subway station in Little India to bring it down.

The riot left 54 police and civil defence officers injured and 23 emergency vehicles damaged.

The court heard that onlookers in the crowd around Samiyappan were spurred by his actions and turned into a mob of violent rioters.

Samiyappan left the scene and subsequently left his then-workplace and was on a run. But he was arrested at Changi Airport on December 15 when he tried to leave Singapore on a flight bound for India.

Citing his action, Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok pressed for a jail sentence of 24 to 30 months with three strokes of the cane.

He urged the court to punish Samiyappan with a "sufficiently stiff sentence" to reflect the courts' and society's "abhorrence of such egregious conduct".

However, defence lawyer Rajan Supramaniam urged the court to impose a custodial sentence of 18 to 20 months.

"He has since realised his foolishness and the gravity of the offence, and deeply regrets his actions," said Rajan.

The riot was sparked by a fatal accident involving a bus and an Indian national who was working in Singapore.

Some 400 migrant workers were at the scene of the riot. Fifty-two Indians were deported from Singapore for their alleged involvement in the riots.

Twenty-five Indian nationals, working in Singapore on permits, were charged for rioting.

Little India is a precinct of Indian origin businesses, eateries and pubs where most of the construction workers from South Asia spend their weekend and day off.

Singapore courts have to date dealt with 15 Indian nationals, including Samiyappan, with jail terms and deportation.

Five of them have been similarly convicted of rioting, receiving up to 33 months' imprisonment and three strokes of the cane. Samiyappan became the sixth man to be convicted.

© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
AAP Should Heed Remarks of 'Bhishma Pitamah' Bhushan: Ilmi 57 People Killed in Rain Related Accidents in Rajasthan
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
  • Daily Mail

More than a decade after India first started the procurement process, it has finally inked an €8bn agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault. The original deal was to buy 126 Rafales to replace the accident-prone Russian MiG-21s. Ultimately, the government offered to buy only 36 ready-to-fly planes.

POLL STARTED ON: Sep 26, 2016
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 31st Olympic Games from August 5 to 21. This is the first Olympics being held in South America and is going on even as a majority Brazilians are unhappy with their rulers. Here’s a quiz on some random Olympic facts and related trivia.
QUIZ STARTED ON: Aug 11, 2016