Waiters kept nervous patrons safe inside

The Banana Leaf Apolo Restaurant

At this restaurant, patrons had an unobstructed view of the disorder on Race Course Road.

Just across the restaurant on Hampshire Road, a police car was burning, while many foreign workers escaped down the same road.

Objects thrown by rioters landed metres from the parking lots in front of the restaurant.

Police reinforcements in riot gear were also seen forming up at the junction nearby.

Says Mr Ramamdeep Singh, a waiter who had worked that night: "Naturally, there were many nervous patrons.

Some left immediately when the rioting broke out.

"But we told the others to stay in the restaurant because it was safer inside."

By 10pm, most patrons had left, except for about 30 people who had remained in the restaurant's second storey function room.

As a precaution, the restaurant doors were then locked and its shutters pulled down.

Says Mr Singh's colleague, Mr Pratheep: "The police came to tell us not to go outside.

Later, they came and told us to close the restaurant. With more police officers around, everybody left in safety by about 10.45pm."

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