SINGAPORE - A construction worker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and three strokes of the cane on Monday for rioting and setting fire to property during the Little India riot.
The court heard how Sarangan Kumaran, 36, was in the Race Course Road area on Dec 8 last year when he saw a group of workers surrounding and hitting the bus that had knocked down an Indian man, sparking the unrest.
The Indian national joined the unlawful assembly to scold police officers and throw projectiles including rocks, large concrete slabs and beer bottles at them and nearby police cars.
Sarangan threw various burning items onto the bus. He was also photographed hurling a large rock at an overturned police car and he threw a large green plastic rubbish bin at the windscreen of a police vehicle, causing it to crack.
When he saw a traffic police bike on its side, he picked up a pole and hit it repeatedly and walked away.
When he returned a few minutes later and saw that others had torched the motorcycle, he danced around it until he was pulled away.
Sarangan is the third foreign worker to plead guilty to rioting and mischief by fire in the riot.
He is the 14th person to be dealt with over the mayhem which resulted in 23 emergency vehicles being damaged, including five which had been set on fire. The estimated cost of damage caused to the police vehicles alone was more than $630,000.
District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim backdated his sentence to Dec 16 when he was arrested. The maximum penalty for rioting is seven years and caning, and for mischief by fire, seven years and a fine.