Man jailed 9 months for role in Little India riot

Man jailed 9 months for role in Little India riot

SINGAPORE - A construction worker yesterday became the 13th person to be dealt with over the Little India riot on Dec 8.

Indian national Palanivel Dhasmohan, 28, was sentenced to nine months in jail after pleading guilty to being a member of an unlawful assembly that night.

A district court heard that Palanivel had just parted ways with a friend at Tekka Market when he walked along Race Course Road and noticed the mob of about 100 persons attacking the bus.

For about 45 minutes, Palanivel walked along Race Course Road and Chander Road, at one point picking up a beer can and throwing it onto the street.

Asking the court to impose a jail term of between nine and 12 months, Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said that upon noticing the mob, the most natural thing for an innocent person to do would have been to leave immediately, rather than embroil himself in a dangerous or illegal situation. Instead, Mr Kok said, Palanivel had moved around the "hotbed" of the riot and lent his body to the unruly mob, which swiftly swelled to an estimated 400.

Regarding the beer can, Mr Kok said: "The danger of a beer can hitting another person or public officer on the street can easily be appreciated but in the context of the carnage which unfolded, this danger could have and did increase exponentially."

Palanivel's lawyer Favian Kang said in turn that his client had not caused any damage or injury, nor had he played an active role in the incident. He called for a term of five months instead. For being a member of an unlawful assembly, Palanivel could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.

This article was first published on July 4, 2014.
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