2 Indians remanded to custody in Singapore riot case

2 Indians remanded to custody in Singapore riot case

2 Indians remanded to custody in Singapore riot case

Two Indians, charged for alleged rioting in Singapore, were today remanded to custody for another week to assist the probe into the city-state's worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years.

Moorthy Kabildev, 24, and Sathiyamoorthy Sivaraman, 36, were first charged in court on December 11 for being part of an unlawful assembly at Little India, a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where most of the South Asian workers take their Sunday break.

Agreeing to the prosecution's request, District Judge Lim Tse Haw cited the scale and sheer amount of evidence involved in the case for his decision, but asked the police to "expedite investigations".

The case against them will be heard next Monday, along with 23 others who had first appeared in court on Tuesday, a report in the Straits Times said.

The Law Society said today it will assign defence counsel to 26 of the 28 workers charged in the Little India riot case.

The trouble on December 8 started after a private bus fatally knocked down an Indian pedestrian, 33-year-old Sakthivel Kuaravelu in Little India.

Some 400 migrant workers were involved in the rampage that left 39 police and civil defence staff injured and 25 vehicles -- including 16 police cars -- damaged.

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

The two men remanded into custody today were alleged to have used a wooden stick to smash the windscreen of the bus, as well as thrown a dustbin, hardened concrete, bottles and a metal drain cover at the bus windows.

A third Indian national, Rajendran Ranjan, 22, who was charged with similar offences, was one of seven who had their charges withdrawn yesterday.

A total of 28 individuals, all Indians, have been charged for their involvement as "active participants", another 52 Indians and a Bangladeshi, will be repatriated for being participants in the violence and about 200 will be issued formal advisories.

Earlier, 33 had been charged for their alleged role in the rioting but seven were acquitted yesterday and two others were arraigned bringing the number of those charged in the violence to 28.

The ban on alcohol consumption in public at Little India would continue every weekend, public holiday and eve of public holiday within the proclaimed area, police said today.

Police said these recalibrated measures would be in place for up to six months until the Committee of Inquiry (COI) makes its recommendations. The COI was set up after the riot.

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