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Singapore riots: Indian sentenced to 16 weeks in jail

hands on prison bars

Singapore:  An Indian national has been sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment for failing to disperse from a riot scene despite police orders in Singapore’s Little India precinct, becoming the last of the 25 men charged for their role in the country’s worst riots in 40 years.

Arun Kaliamurthy, who has a master’s degree in information systems and was looking for a job here, was sent to jail by District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan yesterday.

The court said that the 29-year old had “exhibited a degree of persistence in remaining in the eye of the storm” and had to be “forcibly displaced” from the scene, The Straits Times reported.

Kaliamurthy, however, was planning to appeal against the judgement, according to the media report.

His lawyer Shashi Nathan had earlier argued that the harm caused by his client’s behavior was “slight” and thus called for a fine or a nominal jail term of one day.

Kaliamurthy could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined for continuing in an assembly of five or more people likely to cause a disturbance of public peace, after being lawfully commanded to disperse.

Twenty-four other Indian nationals have been convicted on charged with rioting. Some were sentenced to jail and rests with caning.

The December 2013 riot was sparked by a fatal accident involving an Indian national working here.

Fifty-eight police and defence officers were injured and 23 emergency vehicles damaged in the riot in Little India, a precinct of Indian origin shops, businesses, pubs, eateries, hotels and motels.

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