The Indian High Commission in Singapore on Monday appealed for calm after the death of a construction worker from Tamil Nadu triggered the worst riots in 44 years. The family of 33-year-old Sakthivel Kuravelu, who was knocked down at a junction in Little India, has been notified, it added.
“The Singapore authorities have confirmed the identity of the Indian national who died in an accident in Little India on Sunday. The High Commission has informed the family members,” said a statement from the Indian High Commission.
Earlier on Monday, the High Commission also appealed to all parties to maintain calm.
Conveying his condolences, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that an inquiry committee will look into the incident. Ironically, the riots took place on a day when Singapore’s ruling political party adopted a new resolution calling for strengthening the Singaporean identity. The resolution calls on people of different races, religions and backgrounds to “live harmoniously together, embrace one another as fellow citizens and work together for a better Singapore”.
The last time Singapore witnessed riots was in 1969 when Chinese-Malay clashes from Malaysia spilled over briefly to the city state.
Singapore is home to a large Indian diaspora, with ethnic Indians accounting for 9 per cent of the local population. It is also a major hub for Indian businesses. Around 4,000 registered companies in Singapore have at least part-Indian ownership.