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Singapore to deport 52 Indians

Singapore, Dec. 17 (PTI): Singapore today said 52 Indians will be deported and criminal charges will be pursued against 28 alleged rioters who actively participated in the country’s worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years.

The police arrested the 53 people, including 52 Indians and a Bangladeshi, but did not charge them in court as their involvement in the clashes was judged to be less violent.

“We have taken strong and decisive action to charge and to repatriate those who took part in the riot to send a strong signal that we will not tolerate actions by anyone which threaten law and order in Singapore,” home affairs minister Teo Chee Hean told a news conference.

The police said that it had completed its investigation into the December 8 riot in Little India, a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where most of South Asian workers spend their Sunday break.

The trouble began after a private bus fatally knocked down an Indian pedestrian, 33-year-old Sakthivel Kuaravelu, in Little India. This resulted in some 400 migrant workers going on a rampage that left 39 police and civil defence staff injured and 25 vehicles — including 16 police cars — damaged.

Singapore previously witnessed violence of such scale during the 1969 race riots.

A total of 28 individuals, all Indians, have been charged for their involvement as “active participants”, another 53 will be repatriated for being participants and some 200 will be issued formal advisories, the police said at the news conference here.

Earlier, 33 had been charged for their alleged role in the rioting but seven were acquitted today and two others were arraigned bringing the number of those charged in the violence to 28.

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