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24 Indians Charged in Singapore for Rioting

SINGAPORE, Dec 10 – Twenty-four Indian nationals, arrested for alleged involvement in riots here Dec 8, were Tuesday charged in court for rioting.

Judge Soh Tze Bian sent all the 24 Indian nationals to police remand for a week to facilitate further investigations, local media reported.

The case has been adjourned till Dec 17.

Lawyer Amarick Gill of the Pro Bono Services Office informed the accused that it was working to secure legal representation for all of them through its Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

The Pro Bono Services Office is an initiative by the Law Society of Singapore, which represents all lawyers in Singapore, to help bring free legal assistance to those in need.

A Law Society spokesperson said it would work with the Indian High Commission to provide legal aid to the men.

The riots, involving some 400 South Asian workers, broke out after an Indian worker was killed in an accident in the Little India ethnic neighbourhood, known for its Tamil cultural elements and aspects of other Indian cultures.

The driver involved in Sunday night’s accident was charged Tuesday with causing death by negligence.

Mobs attacked officers who responded to the accident, but police said they did not fire a single shot while trying to bring the situation under control.

It was the biggest riot in Singapore in some 40 years. Around 22 police officers who sustained injuries have been discharged after treatment in hospital.

The protestors also damaged 16 police vehicles.

Authorities classified it as “rioting with dangerous weapons”.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered his deepest condolences to the family of Sakthivel Kumaravelu, the accident victim, and urged people to remain calm and continue with their daily lives.

The prime minister Monday ordered a probe committee to be set up to investigate the incident.

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