Little India riot: A matter of life and death for photographer

Little India riot: A matter of life and death for photographer
A man (right) alerted everyone's attention to our photographer and tried to stop him from taking photos.

SINGAPORE - These are the faces of fury that The New Paper senior executive photojournalist Jonathan Choo had to deal with in the line of duty.

Mr Choo was the only press photographer in the midst of Sunday night's riot.

"When I reached Race Course Road at about 11pm, I saw a crowd throwing stones in the direction of an overturned car and the bystanders near the restaurants," said Mr Choo, 56.

He was taking photos for about a couple of minutes when he realised that the attention had turned to him.

"There were about four men alerted to my presence after another turned around and signalled at me to stop shooting pictures," he said.

Although Mr Choo did not understand the language they were shouting in, he could sense their intention.

A rioter closer to him tried to grab his camera, holding on to the strap.

"I pulled free of him and ran as fast as I could down Hampshire Road," said Mr Choo.

As he was running, Mr Choo could hear stones hitting the wet ground around him.

RAN

"I stopped running after about 100m, when I reached the end of the road where a group of riot police were gathered," he said.

"I was shaking, it felt like a life-and-death situation."

But that was not the end of the night for Mr Choo. He composed himself and captured more dramatic photos of the police making numerous arrests.

"I saw that the police was about to move in, so I calmed down and moved in to take photos of the many arrests made that night," he said.

Mr Choo snapped away till about 12.15am.

maazman@sph.com.sg


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