Singapore hearing on riots to start Feb 19

Singapore, Jan 14: The Singapore government has asked people wanting to make representations at the public hearing on the Dec 8 riots and those who wish to give evidence at the committee of inquiry (COI) to notify the COI secretariat before Feb 5, Today Online reported Tuesday.

The public hearing for the COI will start Feb 19, the news report said.

After the hearing, the COI will submit a report on its proceedings, findings and recommendations to Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean.

The statement said the COI has so far interviewed 20 of the 57 foreign workers prior to their repatriation. An investigation team from the Central Narcotics Bureau has also been appointed to probe the possible causes of the riot.

The Little India riot started at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road here at around 9.20 p.m. Dec 8 when a private bus knocked down and killed Indian construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu, 33.

About 400 people attacked the bus and police and rescue vehicles for two hours before riot police brought the situation under control.

A total of 25 emergency vehicles were damaged, along with five that were set on fire while 39 police officers and four civil defence and auxiliary officers were injured.

Some 25 foreign nationals have so far been charged in court for rioting and at least 52 people deported.

IANS