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Little India Riot: Shop owners pick up the pieces

Published on Dec 9, 2013 12:31 PM
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Shop owners and residents affected by the riot in Little India on Sunday night were seen clearing up the debris from the violence, with most counting their losses.

Mr Abdul Hakeem, a shop assistant at fruits and vegetable retailer Guru's Marketing, said on Monday morning that it would most likely take him "all day" to determine how much costs he would incur.

"When I arrived this morning, I saw this," he said, pointing to a pile of trampled vegetables at his shopfront along Buffalo Road, a stone's throw away from where the riot broke out at about 9.30pm the night before along Race Course Road.

A few doors away, the female shop assistant of a vegetable retailer who refused to be named told The Straits Times said she came to work on Monday morning to find a mess of broken glass in front of her shop.

Two workers cleaning up a vegetables shop on Dec 9, 2013, next to where rioters went on a rampage in Little India the night before. Shop owners and residents affected by the riot were seen clearing up the debris from the violence, with most counting their losses. -- PHOTO: AFP 

"It is what it is," she said, when asked if her business would be affected.

Frame-maker Mr Chua Chit Ming, 63, who has lived at Block 661, Buffalo Road, for more than 30 years said he had been out with his wife on Sunday night.

He told The Straits Times: "When we got home, our neighbours told us there had been a riot so we quickly locked ourselves in our flat.

"But it is convenient to live here and the situation looks calmer today."

Most businesses along Race Course Road were open as usual on Monday with restaurants along the stretch starting to fill up by noon. Groups of foreign workers were seen chatting among themselves at the nearby Tekka Lane, getting updates on what had happened the night before.

Construction worker Mr Roejan Raj who stays in a rented room along Kerbau Road said: "I came down to check out what was happening. Everyone is still asking questions."

Outside a Little India MRT station exit along Race Course Road, glass from smashed lights lay strewn on the ground and SBS Transit staff were seen covering the mess with white plastic sheets.