|Singapore boots out 52 Indians and Bangladeshi for rioting in Indian enclave
Singapore said it will deport 53 South Asians, including 52 Indians and a Bangladeshi, and pursue criminal charges against 28 others for their involvement in the island’s first riot in more than four decades.
(Pictured, arrested South Asian workers, bend to avoid the cameras as they are brought to court in a police van at the Subordinate courts in Singapore).
“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 said, AFP reports.
The riot on the night of Sunday, December 8, by hundreds of mostly Indian workers has forced the island to examine how it deals with the presence of nearly a million low-paid foreign workers, who drive its economic growth.
The rampage, which erupted after an Indian man was killed by a bus in an Indian enclave known as “Little India,’’ left 39 people injured, including police officers. Also, 25 vehicles were destroyed.
Fifty-two of the 53 men being deported are Indian nationals, while one is a Bangladeshi, said police commissioner Ng Joo Hee.
They were hauled up in the morning and will be deported after travel and administrative arrangements are settled, he said.
The 28 men facing rioting charges remain in police custody.
Seven Indian nationals who had previously been charged were released today after their charges were withdrawn.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement that investigations showed the 28 facing charges were involved in “acts of violence, damage to property, defying police orders, or inciting others to do so.’’
The men being deported failed to disperse despite police orders, and threatened public order, “making their continued presence in Singapore undesirable,'' it said.
About 200 others who were at the scene of the riot but whose involvement was deemed to be “relatively passive'' will be handed warnings by the police.