Little India riot: Plumber jailed for assaulting officer

Little India riot: Plumber jailed for assaulting officer
The chaotic scene at Race course Road during the Little India Riot.

A PLUMBER who was heading back to his dorm when he decided to get involved in the Little India riot was jailed for a year yesterday.

Bose Prabakar, 30, became only the second man in Singapore to be convicted under Section 152 of the Penal Code.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting a public servant who had been trying to suppress a riot. He had been drinking beer with friends before returning to Race Course Road to catch a bus back to his dorm on Dec 8 last year.

The Indian national saw members of a growing mob hurling projectiles at a bus and setting alight police and emergency vehicles.

He ignored orders from the police to disperse and proceeded to take pictures of the unfolding destruction with his mobile phone.

Later, as police and auxiliary police officers formed a line across Race Course Road to contain the riot, Bose spied a gap in the line and made a run for it, kicking an officer's protective shield in the process.

Successfully through, he ran towards auxiliary police officer Muhammad Bohhari Mohd Yusof, who was then ordered to arrest him.

Bose kicked out but the officer dodged and hit him with his baton before arresting him.

Bose's jail term was backdated to his arrest on Dec 8. He also faced a second charge of rioting, which was considered during his sentencing.

He could have faced up to eight years in jail and/or a fine for his actions, which Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok called "audacious".

"Having already caused extensive damage in the area, the unruly mob could have been given impetus by the accused's actions and similarly charged towards the police line, resulting in inevitable clashes between the police and the rioters," said APP Kok, who argued for a jail term of at least 12 months.

Defence counsel Amarick Gill, urged the court to look at Bose's clean record in six years of work in Singapore and pleaded for a nine-month sentence.

Although Bose was eventually given a year, based on his good behaviour, he is expected to be released from jail this week before flying home to India over the weekend.

Bose is the 16th of 25 men charged with rioting to be dealt with.

So far, six have been convicted of rioting and another nine have been convicted of amended charges, such as obstruction, unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

Cases involving the remaining nine men are pending in court.

This article was first published on August 22, 2014.
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