Singapore riot: 3 Indians allege police abuse, file complaint

Jan 09 2014, 12:37 IST
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SummarySingapore previously witnessed violence of such scale during race riots in 1969.

Three Indians, facing charges for their alleged involvement in Singapore's worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years, have filed a formal complaint of police assault here.

The trio filed the complaint yesterday with the Internal Affairs Office (IAO), an independent unit of the Singapore Police Force that investigates disciplinary offences or crimes committed by officers during the course of their work.

They include IT product manager Arun Kaliamurthy, 28, who was visiting Singapore as a tourist when he was implicated in the December 8 riot, and Rajendran Mohan, 25, and Ravi Arun Vengatesh, 24, who were working here but were alleged to have rioted, The Straits Times reported today.

They alleged they were physically assaulted and subjected to insults and threats to get them to admit to their roles in the riot 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 three are out on bail. They were arrested from separate places after the riot and are part of 25 Indians facing charges for rioting in Singapore's Little India, a

precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where South Asians working in Singapore spend their day off. Their lawyer M Ravi urged a "fair and just" probe by the IAO into the allegations. The IAO took statements from the trio after they raised the allegations in court last month.

Mohan had alleged that he was coerced to admit involvement in the riot even if innocent, to accept blame "for the other Tamils who did indeed participate."

He was told if he did not confess, he would be "sent home in a body bag", the report quoted Mohan as saying. Kaliamurthy said he was slapped and punched, including by a female officer.

Allegations of abuse first came up in court on December 17. Responding then, Singapore's Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran had said such claims were viewed seriously and would be investigated thoroughly.

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