Singapore riot -Little India: Workers wanted to “kill timekeeper, burn bus” — Some of the mob during last December’s Little India riot in Singapore were shouting that they wanted to kill the timekeeper and burn the bus, a police officer told the Committee of Inquiry on Monday.
Certis Cisco constable Nathan Chandra Sekaran said some 20 to 30 foreign workers gathered around the bus after it hit and killed an Indian national on December 8, 2014, and some in the crowd were throwing projectiles.
“We were out-numbered,” he said during his testimony on the fourth day of the public hearing which is looking into how and why the riot happened.
Mr Nathan told the inquiry that he and five others were the first officers on the scene, said reports.
“I went to the left side of the bus to take a look at the body,” referring to the 33-year-old Sakthivel Kumaravelu, who died after he fell into the path of the moving bus. “At this juncture I observed more foreign workers joining the crowd around the bus,” he said.
Some of the mob began shouting at bus timekeeper Wong Geck Woon, 38, who was still on the bus along with bus driver Lee Kim Huat, 55.
Mr Nathan said: “As I can understand Tamil, I heard the foreign workers shouting words to the effect that the timekeeper had caused the death of the deceased because she had asked him to depart the bus earlier.
“They wanted to kill her and they wanted to burn the bus,” he said, adding that those making the comments were foreign workers who were at the back of the crowd. Those in the front, however, were “peaceful” and wanted to “take a closer look” at the body, he recounted.
He said officers were outnumbered as the crowd started to get larger, and some looked drunk.
Police officers who arrived early decided to report the incident and wait for back-up instead of making arrests.
- Mr Nathan said he believed that police vehicles would not have been burned if police had arrested those who were threatening to do so. Singapore riot Image/