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Little India Riot COI: Heated exchange between committee and ground commander

Published on Mar 4, 2014 12:27 PM
Police at the scene of the riot on Dec 8, 2013.  -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The public inquiry into the Little India riot resumed on Tuesday on a cordial note, with chairman G Pannir Selvam telling Tanglin Police Division commander Lu Yeow Lim that the purpose of the committee of inquiry (COI) was to investigate the incident, and not "in the purpose of dispiriting anybody".

The hearing, however, quickly took a hostile turn, with a heated exchange between former commissioner of police Tee Tua Ba and the ground commander on the night of Dec 8 last year - particularly over whether the police were standing by and "did nothing... by holding the line" while the rioters ravaged Little India.

Mr Tee pointed out that the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC) had "more than a 100 men" at his disposal.

DAC Lu however clarified that police officers were scattered at various points along Race Course Road, in a theatre of operations "the size of three football fields". There were also only eight officers - not including two senior officers - with him in his immediate area of operations.

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