SINGAPORE- Mr Alagappan Kathaiya, 36, was one of the seven accused who were granted a discharge amounting to acquittal by the court yesterday.
The other six are Mr Selvarasu Dhanapal, 25, Mr Ammasi Venkatesan, 27, Mr Sellamuthu Elangovan, 45, Mr Rajendran Ranjan, 22, Mr Rengasamy Muruganantham, 24 and Mr Sathan Selvan, 39.
Mr Alagappan's supervisor from Oxley Construction Company, who picked him up from the Subordinate Court last evening, said: "His wife kept crying and crying when I told her he had been released."
Mr Alagappan, whose wife and three sons aged 7, 9 and 11, are in Tamil Nadu in India, said he was in Little India to meet his friends when the riot broke out on Dec 8.
Speaking in Tamil, with his supervisor acting as interpreter, he said: "I was watching what was happening. I was standing near the bus (that was vandalised). But glass shards cut my hand and grazed my head."
BUNDLED & BANDAGED
Police officers bundled him into an ambulance, which took him to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, he said.
"They bandaged my head. After that, I walked back to Mustafa Centre to have my dinner," Mr Alagappan said.
But a surprise awaited him. "The police arrested me. They thought I was involved in the riot," he said.