Indian in Singapore gets jail, caning for rioting

An Indian construction worker was sentenced to 30 months in jail and three strokes of the cane for his role in a rare incident of rioting in Singapore last year.

Singapore: An Indian construction worker was sentenced to 30 months in jail and three strokes of the cane on Thursday for his role in a rare incident of rioting in Singapore last year.

Ramalingam Sakthivel, 33, was the first to be convicted for rioting among the workers involved in the mob violence triggered by a fatal accident on December 08, 2013, in Little India, a neighbourhood in Singapore known for its Indian culture and shops.

It was one of the very few riots in Singapore since 1965.
The court heard that Sakthivel rallied those around him at a road to flip a police car, and threw projectiles at the police, Xinhua reported.

The riot in Little India involved some 300,000 foreign workers from South Asia and left 39 officers injured and 25 emergency vehicles damaged.

Sakthivel also hit an ambulance repeatedly with a pole and tried to set on fire the bus that had knocked down and killed another Indian worker, Sakthivel Kumaravelu.
The judge gave Sakthivel a 30-month jail term and three strokes of the cane for rioting and 27 months` jail for mischief by fire. Both sentences will run concurrently.

The start of his jail term will be backdated to December 08, 2013, the day he was remanded.

The maximum jail terms for rioting and mischief by fire are seven years each.

Sakthivel`s lawyers said the sentence was fair and that their client would not be appealing against it.

Deputy Presiding Judge Jennifer Marie said the offences were not committed in isolation, which was why the court considered the circumstances rather than focus on his deeds.

The riot in December last year in Little India broke out after Indian national Sakthivel Kumaravelu was knocked down and pinned under a private bus.

He died at the scene.

Officers put the situation under control after about two hours without firing a single shot.

About 30 workers have been charged in relation to the riot, most for rioting or for failing to disperse.

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