Little India riot: Man jailed for obstructing police

Little India riot: Man jailed for obstructing police
The chaotic scene at Race course Road during the Little India Riot.

An Indian national who defied an order not to proceed to a cordoned area in Race Course Road was jailed for 18 weeks yesterday.

Ravi Arun Vengatesh, then a quality control supervisor, admitted to obstructing Acting Inspector Thinagaran S. Krishnasamy from endeavouring to disperse an unlawful assembly.

The 25-year-old is the 19th person to be convicted and sentenced over the riot on Dec 8 last year, and the fourth to be jailed for obstructing a police officer.

That night, he and his brother-in-law, co- accused Selvanathan Murugesan, 28, met for drinks in Little India.

At 10.45pm, they proceeded towards Little India MRT station as Vengatesh wanted to take the last train back to his dormitory.

But they were stopped by a police officer who asked them to proceed to Farrer Park MRT station instead as the police were clearing members of the unlawful assembly in the cordoned area in Race Course Road. The pair refused and shouted at the police officer.

Acting Insp Thinagaran saw this and joined his colleague to explain the need for them to clear the area immediately.

The duo refused to budge and were finally placed under arrest after force was used to subdue them. Selvanathan has been jailed for five months.

Vengatesh's lawyer, Mr Louis Joseph, said his client admitted that his actions, which arose from drinks and being caught up in "mass hysteria", were wrong, and he regretted them.

This article was first published on Oct 1, 2014.
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