Little India Riot Instigator Gets 3-Strokes Of The Cane

A man who was involved in the Little India riot on Dec 8 last year was sentenced to receive three strokes of the cane on Friday (Nov 28), to add to a 25-month prison sentence he had earlier received.

Indian national Samiyappan Sellathurai was previously sentenced to 25 months imprisonment on Aug 14 for his involvement in the riot.

But Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Sellakumaran Sellamuthoo told the High Court before Justice Chan Seng Onn that Samiyappan’s imprisonment term was “manifestly inadequate”, given that the 42-year-old had not only participated in the riot, but had also instigated the crowd.

“The respondent instigated others to help him remove a concrete slab that was used to pave the ground. The Respondent had tried to do so on his own but failed, as the slab was heavy and stuck to the ground. After the crowd joined in — in response to the respondent’s instigation — the concrete slab was dislodged.

“During the time frame between 10.09pm and 10.19pm, the respondent threw a total of eight pieces of concrete in the direction of the public vehicles and public servants. The crowd, which prior to this was non-violent, followed the respondent’s lead and started to dislodge other concrete slabs, break them and used them as projectiles.

“The respondent then continued his streak of creating chaos and unrest by inciting others to help carry a small metal rack and ram it against a side wall of the Little India MRT station,” DPP Sellakumaran told the court while showing a video of CCTV footage taken at the time of the riot.

A total of 25 individuals have been charged in court since for their respective roles and involvement in the riot in Little India.

Before meting out the sentence on the grounds that Samiyappan had instigated the crowds and also vandalised public property, Justice Chan said that Samiyappan was “considered lucky” that the prosecution had not appealed for a longer prison term.

“Viewing the video, it is clear that the respondent was the ringleader and instigated the crowd. In this case of rioting, vandalism was involved. Not only vandalism but destruction of government property,” Justice Chan said.



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