SINGAPORE: 24 Indian nationals were charged in court on Tuesday afternoon with rioting in Little India on Sunday night.
The riot, which is the first in Singapore after some four decades, broke out when a private bus knocked down 33-year-old Indian worker, Sakthivel Kumaravelu, at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road after 9pm.
Aged between 22 and 40, the men are from different dormitories and companies.
They are also accused of throwing concrete pieces at police officers.
Each of them faces a charge of rioting on December 8 between 9.20pm and 10.45pm, in the vicinity of Race Course Road.
During the short hearing, the court heard that the Law Society’s pro bono services is looking into offering legal aid to the accused persons.
So far, more than 10 lawyers have volunteered to do so.
The High Commission of India has also contacted the accused persons about legal representation.
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry added that it is working with the High Commission to facilitate consular access and support for the men.
The accused are among 28 people who were earlier arrested in the fracas — 25 Indian nationals, two Bangladeshis and one Singapore PR.
Subsequent police investigations showed that the Singapore PR, the two Bangladeshis and an Indian national were not involved in the incident and have been released.
If convicted of rioting, the maximum penalty is seven years’ jail and caning.
The case will be mentioned in on December 17.
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