Little India riot: Officers recount encounter with mob

Little India riot: Officers recount encounter with mob
(From left) Corporal (NS) Mohammad Mahadhir Rosechan, Lt Tiffany Neo and Staff Sgt Nor Aisyah were among those who attended a meeting with PM Lee. Cpl Mahadhir and Staff Sgt Nor were injured in the riot.

Singapore - Standing 1.6m and weighing no more than 55 kg, Lieutenant Tiffany Neo was a picture of composure on Tuesday as she related the riotous events on that fateful night in Little India.

The 25-year-old led a team of nine officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) that extricated the body of Indian national Sakthivel Kumaravelu from underneath a bus and carried him to an ambulance.

As the mob grew more aggressive, they returned to the bus to rescue its driver and his assistant, aided by police officers with shields. Her story was one of the first- hand accounts Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong heard at a breakfast meeting that was attended by the Home Team first responders.

Lt Neo recalled: "(The crowd) kept coming forward and we were shoved. We had to push them back. Some of them even came forward and hit us with their hands.

"There were one or two instances when one of the crowd members came forward to help to push the crowd back as well, but he also got pushed back into the crowd in the confusion."

While most of the officers suffered bruises and scrapes, one of her men, Corporal (NS) Mohammad Mahadhir Rosechan, 22, injured his left ribcage and right knee.

Paramedic Nor Aisyah and her crew had a narrow escape as rioters set fire to their ambulance.

The 27-year-old recounted that as the mob turned violent, they received orders to reverse the ambulance and leave.

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