Man who flipped police car in Little India riot gets 25 months' jail and canning

The overturned police cars in the aftermath of the Little India riot on Dec 9, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 
The overturned police cars in the aftermath of the Little India riot on Dec 9, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

SINGAPORE - An Indian national became the 20th man to be convicted when he was jailed for 25 months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane for rioting in Little India.

Construction worker Chinnappa Govindarasu, 31, admitted that he, with at least four others, aimed to overawe by show of criminal force along Race Course Road on Dec 8 last year. The charge said one or more of them used force by flipping a police car. The cost of the damage came up to $3,150.

A district court heard that Govindarasu was heading towards Race Course Road that Sunday evening after drinking a large amount of whisky and beer with friends. He had intended to take the transport back to his dormitory in Kranji.

Police arrived in two cars to carry out their duties and were later unable to return to their vehicles parked along Race Course Road due to the escalating violence.

Members of the unlawful assembly thronged the road, throwing numerous projectiles at public servants and openly attacking public service vehicles.

At about 10.30pm, rioters flipped one of the police cars onto its left side.

Spurred by this, Govindarasu and other members of the mob rushed to the side of the other car, lifted it up and flipped it.

Unknown to Govindarasu, he left a partial right palm impression on the car below the front passenger door sill.

He continued to loiter in the area and was arrested at a restaurant along Kampong Kapor Road at about 2am the next day.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and caned.