Singapore: 3 allege police abuse in riot case — Three Indian nationals who are facing charges in Singapore for their alleged roles in the December 8 Little India riots, have filed a formal complaint of police assault with the Internal Affairs Office (IAO), according to reports.
The trio allege that they were physically assaulted by police, and subjected to insults and threats, as police attempted to get them to admit to their roles in the riot.
The three men are Arun Kaliamurthy, a 28-year-old IT product manager who was visiting Singapore as a tourist when he was implicated in the riot, Rajendran Mohan, 25, and Ravi Arun Vengatesh, 24, both of whom were working here and were alleged to have rioted, reported The Economic Times.
They were arrested in separate places following the riot, and all three are currently out on bail.
They are among 25 Indian nationals facing court charges related to the riots which were Singapore’s worst street violence in 40 years, and left 39 officers injured and 25 government vehicles damaged.
The attorney for the three, M Ravi, urged the IAO to conduct a “fair and just” probe into the allegations. The IAO, an independent unit of the Singapore Police Force tasked with investigating disciplinary offences or crimes committed by police officers, took statements from the three men after they raised the allegations of police abuse in court in December.
Rajendran said that he was coerced to admit involvement in the riot, and even if innocent, to accept blame “for the other Tamils who did indeed participate.”
Rajendran was cited by The Straits Times as saying he was told if he did not confess, he would be “sent home in a body bag”.
Arun alleged he was slapped and punched by police, including by one female officer.
When the allegations of police abuse first came up on December 17 in court, Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs, S. Iswaran, responded by saying such claims were viewed seriously and would be investigated thoroughly.