Two more workers jailed for rioting

SINGAPORE - Two Indian construction workers were jailed yesterday after becoming the third and fourth men to be convicted of rioting in Little India last December.

Moorthy Kabildev, 25, was sentenced to two years in jail, and Mongan Anbalagan, 41, to 18 months.

The former initially faced two charges - rioting and allegedly punching bus time-keeper Wong Geck Woon. He was convicted of the first charge, but the prosecution withdrew the second.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong did not provide a reason why, and told the court she would apply for a discharge amounting to an acquittal for the second charge.

Kabildev's sentence was backdated to his Dec 9 arrest date after he admitted to having thrown various projectiles - including a dustbin - at the bus involved in the fatal accident preceding the riot. Its driver and Madam Wong had been in it.

DPP Ong asked for a sentence of between 24 and 30 months in jail, and three to six strokes of the cane.

Kabildev's lawyer, Mr Anand Nalachandran, sought leniency and a sentence "in the region of 18 months" without caning, saying his client had not challenged the police and had been "swept up in the emotions of the moment... and succumbed to the rallying of the group".

It is understood that Kabildev is considering an appeal against his sentence.

Meanwhile, Anbalagan pleaded guilty to having thrown concrete pieces in the direction of the same bus and several police vehicles. His sentence was backdated to his arrest on Dec 8.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Teo asked for a jail term of 18 to 24 months. Defence counsel Brown Anthony Pereira pleaded for a lighter sentence as his client had "simply succumbed to herd mentality and fear... of being picked on by the crowd".

Two other Indian nationals had previously been jailed after pleading guilty to rioting and mischief by fire, receiving terms of 30 and 33 months, with three strokes of the cane each.

Six others were sentenced to 15 and 18 weeks each for failing to disperse on the night of the riot, while another was given nine months in jail for joining an unlawful assembly that day. Fourteen other cases are pending.

This article was first published on June 13, 2014.
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