52 Indians deported from Singapore for rioting

52 Indians deported from Singapore for rioting

52 Indians deported from Singapore for rioting
Singapore today said 52 Indians were deported for alleged rioting in the city-state's worst street violence in 40 years, while four other Indians will be repatriated tonight.

The process of deporting 53 men - 52 Indians and one Bangladeshi - began yesterday even as authorities were pressing criminal charges against 28 Indians for their role in the December 8 rampage in Little India, a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where most of the South Asian workers take their Sunday break.

The four Indians, to be repatriated tonight, were among seven persons who were earlier charged in court but had their charges withdrawn subsequently, police commissioner Ng Joo Hee told reporters.

"When the last of these four are removed, bringing the total number repatriated to 57, the repatriation operation arising from police investigations into the Little India riots will, more or less, come to an end," Ng said.

The 53 people already deported received stern police warnings and will not be allowed to re-enter Singapore, police said.

Other 200 workers, who were involved in the rioting but have a "passive and incidental role", would be issued formal police advisories on Sunday at the Police Cantonment Complex.

The trouble 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 other three of the seven, discharged from rioting charge earlier, would be issued police advisories but would be allowed to remain in Singapore.

Earlier this week, a civil group had questioned the "arbitrary deportation" of these people, citing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants.

A Committee of Inquiry (COI) was set up following by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's order to probe the riot. He had warned to use "full force of the law" against trouble-makers.

At the same time, the Prime Minister said his government would treat foreign workers fairly and properly.

"We do not stand for ill treatment or unfair treatment of foreign workers," Lee had said. 

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