Singapore Little India riot: Was alcohol a cause of violence?

In a bid to calm down the after-effects of a riot that broke out in Little India, Singapore has decided to impose a complete ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the affected area this weekend, reports said.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Dec 10, 2013, 13:13 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Singapore: In a bid to calm down the after-effects of a riot that broke out in Little India, Singapore has decided to impose a complete ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol in the affected area this weekend, reports said.

Singapore`s Second Home Affairs Minister S Iswaran said that the move was aimed at bringing stability in the area after more than a dozen people including cops and defence personnel were hurt in the riot which was triggered by the death of an Indian in a bus accident.

Speaking to the reporters, the minister said that the ban on alcohol will be implemented by the police which will communicate this to all the stakeholders in the affected area.

"It will give the police time to assess the situation, engage stakeholders and then decide on the next appropriate steps to be taken," Iswaran said.

For the riot, which saw ambulances and police vehicles in flames, 27 people have been arrested so far, out of which 24 are said to be Indians.

The exact cause of what might have triggered the violence that onvolved over 400 South Asians is not known yet, but a report quoted the minister as saying that alcohol consumption might have been a "plausible cause".

According to some media reports, the boisterous mob of about 400 South Asians whistled and hollered offensive remarks in Tamil.

The protesters attacked the bus driver, known as Lim, throwing stones and objects at him.

The riot in the Little India area might bring bad repute to South Asians as the police commissioner said yesterday that no Singaporean was involved and it was "not the Singapore way".

However, talking to Singapore`s Chanel News Asia, Iswaran said that the riots should not cause xenophobia as most of the foreign workers have been law-abiding.

"I think we need to be fair because as I`ve said, foreign workers, there are many of them in our midst and some of them have committed some offences but by and large, they have been law-abiding.

"So we will bring the perpetrators to justice but we must treat the larger law-abiding group fairly and without any misgivings and xenophobia," he said.