SINGAPORE: A 28-year-old Indian was today sentenced to five months in jail for obstructing a policeman during the Little India riot, becoming the 17th Indian to be jailed for his involvement in the country's worst violence in 40 years.
Selvanathan Murugesan, who worked as a construction worker here, was charged for obstructing a policeman in the last December's riots in the vicinity of Little India, a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs.
A district court heard that Selvanathan and his brother-in-law were walking towards Little India MRT station when they were stopped by a police officer along Chander Road, who told them to go to Farrer Park MRT instead.
The officer had been stationed there to block access tothe cordoned-off area around Race Course Road, where police were dispersing people involved in the unlawful assembly that night.
The riot was sparked by a fatal accident involving a bus and an Indian national who was working in Singapore.
Some 400 migrant workers were at the scene of the riot during which 23 emergency vehicles were damaged and 54 police officers injured. Fifty-two Indians were deported from Singapore for their alleged involvement in the riots.
Twenty-five Indian nationals, working in Singapore on permits, were charged for rioting. Murugesan became the 17 Indian to be jailed for his involvement in the riots.