Little India riot: First man convicted for obstruction gets five months' jail

Riot police standing guard in Little India after a crowd of more than 400 people turned unruly on Dec 8, 2013. Indian national Mahalingam Thavamani was on Monday sentenced to five months' jail for obstructing a policeman on the night of the riot in L
Riot police standing guard in Little India after a crowd of more than 400 people turned unruly on Dec 8, 2013. Indian national Mahalingam Thavamani was on Monday sentenced to five months' jail for obstructing a policeman on the night of the riot in Little India last December. -- ST PHOTO: FILE

SINGAPORE - Indian national Mahalingam Thavamani was on Monday sentenced to five months' jail for obstructing a policeman on the night of the riot in Little India last December.

Thavamani, 27, who was initially charged with rioting on Dec 8 last year, faced an amended charge of obstructing Deputy Superintendent of Police N. Subramaniam, for which he could have received up to eight years in jail and/or a fine.

Thavamani was the first among 25 charged for their roles in the riot to claim trial, and the first in Singapore to be convicted for obstruction.

His five-month sentence was backdated to Jan 23, and thus, was completed the day it was issued.

The Dec 8 riot was the worst case of violence Singapore has seen in more than four decades. It left 49 Home Team officers injured and 23 emergency vehicles damaged.

Four Indian nationals have pleaded guilty to rioting since then. Six others admitted to failing to disperse. The cases of the other 13 accused are pending in court.

Register here to get free digital access to The Straits Times until Aug 9, 2015.
Comments