Little India Riot: Police hold press conference on repatriation of workers involved in riot

SINGAPORE - A total of 53 migrant workers involved in the Dec 8 riot are being repatriated. The actions of these 53 workers during the riot ranged from obstructing the police to failing to obey police orders to disperse, police investigations showed.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the full statement from Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee :

You will remember from Tuesday's press conference that we have categorised the persons involved in the riot of 8 Dec in Little India into three groups.

Group One: Charged

The first group is made up of persons who, based on police investigations, were found to be actively involved in the violence, and who had damaged property, defied police orders or incited others to do so. These individuals have been formally charged in court and are currently in remand.

Group Two: Repatriated

In comparison, persons in Group Two have not been charged in court as their involvement, based on our evidence, was assessed to be less egregious. They had knowingly joined or continued to participate in the riot, after being ordered to disperse, or had impeded riot control and emergency rescue operations. There are 53 persons in this second group and they were brought in by police in an early morning operation on Tuesday.

I can report that all 53 have been repatriated to their home countries after receiving stern police warnings and being served with immigration removal orders. They will not be allowed to enter Singapore again.

On Tuesday, I informed the media that seven persons who were previously charged in court had their charges withdrawn by the prosecution. Of these seven, four have been issued with stern police warnings. These four have also been served with immigration removal orders and are expected to be repatriated to India later tonight. The four of them enjoyed full access to consular assistance, and were also seen by members of the Committee of Inquiry.

When the last of these four are removed, bringing the total number repatriated to 57, the repatriation operation arising from police investigations into the Little India riots will, more or less, come to an end.

Group Three: Police Advice

There is a third group of individuals who were involved in the rioting. These are the around 200 who were called up by police to assist in investigations. Although they were physically present at the location of the riot, we are satisfied that their involvement has been passive and incidental.

These 200 odd persons will be issued with formal police advisories this coming Sunday, at the Police Cantonment Complex, starting at 10am.

Today and tomorrow, police will notify the employers of persons in this third group to present their respective employees to the CID on Sunday to be formally advised.

I want to make clear that this third group will neither be further detained nor repatriated. They will be allowed to stay on in Singapore and to continue with their employment, but they must not come to adverse notice again.

Activities in Worker Dorms

This and the coming weekends and public holidays, operators of major dormitories which house guest workers will continue to put on a variety of activities in their premises for the benefit of their lodgers. More movie screenings, flea markets, sport competitions and other social and recreational activities can be expected to be organised in the various dormitories all over the island.

Reminder on Drinking Ban

Lastly, I want to repeat and to remind everyone of the restriction order on the sale and consumption of alcohol in Little India that will come into force this weekend under powers given to me as Commissioner of Police by the Public Order (Preservation) Act.

Specifically, there shall be no drinking of alcohol in any public place within the proclaimed area during weekends, public holidays and eve of public holidays. The retail and wholesale of alcohol shall cease at 8pm. Public houses and beer houses will be allowed to sell the various types of alcohol as permitted by their licences, but consumption must be within their premises during the permitted licensing hours.

The proclaimed area is well demarcated with posters and police notices. Police officers will be present to enforce the Order, and will act resolutely should they come across breaches and violations.

From The Straits Times twitter account:

#LittleIndiaRiot :53 workers have been repatriated, will not be allowed to enter Singapore again

#LittleIndiaRiot: Four of seven workers who had charges withdrawn will be repatriated as well, later today

#LittleIndiaRiot 200 workers who were passive participants to report to CID on Sunday to be formally advised

#LittleIndiaRiot: Restriction order for alcohol continues this weekend, police will be present to enforce ban

#LittleIndiaRiot Police reiterate that there is to be no drinking of alcohol in public places within proclaimed area

#LittleIndiaRiot: Committe of Inquiry has spoken to 16 of the 53 repatriated.

#LittleIndiaRiot: Government agencies working with dorm operators to offer more activities

#LittleIndiaRiot: MOM to look into funding to help dorms with cost of providing weekend activities

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