Little India riot: 17th man to be dealt with given five months' jail

SINGAPORE - A construction worker on Thursday became the 17th person to be dealt with over the Little India riot last Dec 8.

Indian national Selvanathan Murugesan, 28, was sentenced to five months in jail after pleading guilty to obstructing a police officer that night.

A district court heard that around 10.45pm, Selvanathan and his brother-in-law were walking towards Little India MRT station when they were stopped by a police officer along Chander Road, who told them to go to Farrer Park MRT instead.

The officer had been stationed there to block access to the cordoned-off area around Race Course Road, where police were dispersing people involved in the unlawful assembly that night.

The pair refused to comply, insisting on walking to Race Course Road and taking the MRT from Little India station, even after another officer arrived and repeated the instructions and the reasons for them.

The two men were placed under arrest 10 minutes later, but resisted and continued to try to get past the officers. Another two policemen had to join in to help subdue them.

Selvanathan could have been jailed up to eight years and fined for obstructing a public servant in the discharge of his duty.

The case against his brother-in-law, Ravi Arun Vengatesh, 25, will be heard later this month.