Jail for last accused in Little India riot case

Jail for last accused in Little India riot case

The last of 25 men to be dealt with for their roles in a riot in Little India more than a year ago was sentenced yesterday to 16 weeks in jail.

Arun Kaliamurthy, an Indian national with a master's degree in information systems, plans to appeal against the judgment.

The 29-year-old, who was looking for a job in Singapore, had claimed trial to a single charge of failing to disperse from the scene despite police orders to do so.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said that the accused had "exhibited a degree of persistence in remaining in the eye of the storm" and had to be "forcibly displaced" from the scene.

Arun's lawyer Shashi Nathan had earlier argued that the harm caused by his client's behaviour was "slight", and thus called for a fine or a nominal jail term of one day.

The other 24 Indian nationals charged in relation to the riot have been convicted and sentenced to jail, some with caning.

Arun is one of only two men to claim trial.

The fracas on the night of Dec 8, 2013, had erupted after a bus accident along Race Course Road killed 33-year-old construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu.

Arun could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined for continuing in an assembly of five or more people likely to cause a disturbance of public peace, after being lawfully commanded to disperse.

This article was first published on June 3, 2015.
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