Charges against 7 Indian nationals withdrawn

Charges against 7 Indian nationals withdrawn
Mr Sellamuthu Elangovan (right), 45, was on the verge of tearsv over his release, while site manager Ramaiah Thiyagarajan (centre), 44, was in court to receive his 25-year-old employee Selvarasu Dhanapal.

SINGAPORE - Seven Indian nationals who allegedly took part in the Little India riot were released on Tuesday, leaving several of them in tears after getting a discharge amounting to an acquittal.

Public prosecutors withdrew the charges against them as the evidence was not good enough, it was explained at a press conference on Tuesday.

But out of the seven, aged between 22 and 45, four will be given stern warnings and face the possibility of further action. No action will be taken against the other three, whose identities were not revealed.

Kong Hwee Iron Works & Construction site manager Ramaiah Thiyagarajan, 44, was in court to receive his 25-year-old employee Selvarasu Dhanapal, one of the seven freed.

Mr Ramaiah told The Straits Times that Mr Selvarasu is a model employee who has been with the company for six years, adding that co-workers were shocked that such a "shy and mild-mannered" man could have been embroiled in the melee.

Mr Sellamuthu Elangovan was the only one of the seven to leave court alone without anyone to receive him. On the verge of tears over his release, the 45-year-old who said he works for Sunho Construction added that he was "happy that there is no problem".

Meanwhile, of the 28 Indian nationals still facing charges, 23 were in court on Tuesday for their alleged role in last Sunday's incident, which was sparked by a fatal traffic accident involving a construction worker from India.

Two of them, Samiyappan Sellathurai, 41, and Sarangan Kumaran, 35, were charged on Tuesday for being part of an unlawful assembly and for "throwing pieces of concrete" at people.

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