Kallang slashings: 'Attack was so fast, there was no time to react'

Mr Egan Karuppaiah (left) and Mr Sandeep Singh were attacked three years ago during a spate of violent robberies. Neither of them could recognise their attackers or tell what weapons were used.
Mr Egan Karuppaiah (left) and Mr Sandeep Singh were attacked three years ago during a spate of violent robberies. Neither of them could recognise their attackers or tell what weapons were used.ST PHOTOS: JAMIE KOH
Mr Egan Karuppaiah (left) and Mr Sandeep Singh were attacked three years ago during a spate of violent robberies. Neither of them could recognise their attackers or tell what weapons were used.
Mr Egan Karuppaiah (left) and Mr Sandeep Singh were attacked three years ago during a spate of violent robberies. Neither of them could recognise their attackers or tell what weapons were used.ST PHOTOS: JAMIE KOH

Two victims tell court how their assailants beat, slashed them

Two Indian nationals who were slashed and punched during a spate of violent robberies three years ago came face to face with their alleged attackers yesterday.

It was the first time the victims - Mr Egan Karuppaiah, 46, and Mr Sandeep Singh, 27, - have been able to tell their harrowing tale in court.

They were testifying in the trial of Sarawakians Micheal Garing and Tony Imba, accused of murdering another worker from India during the assaults between the night of May 29 and the early hours of May 30 in 2010.

Neither of the men could recognise their attackers or tell what weapons were used.

Mr Egan told the High Court: "It all happened too fast and I did not even have the time to react."

Mr Singh could not see the faces of his assailants because he was trying to cover his head and face from the blows while attempting to escape.

Both men showed the scars from their injuries to the court. Mr Egan has scars on the back of his hands and is unable to move some fingers. Mr Singh has scars on his arms, back and head.

Micheal, 25, and Tony, 34, appeared relaxed when their alleged victims took the stand.

They are accused of being part of a group of four men who committed four robberies, seriously hurting Mr Egan, Mr Singh and Singaporean Ang Jun Heng, 22, before killing Mr Shanmuganathan Dillidurai, 41.

Last week, the defence objected to evidence relating to the three attacks, allegedly committed before the fatal assault, being admitted in the trial but Justice Choo Han Teck ruled yesterday that it was relevant.

The court heard that Mr Singh was set upon while he was at a playground in Sims Drive talking on the phone with his brother in India.

"All of a sudden, I felt a very sharp pain at the back of my head as if I was hit by something very hard," he said.

Mr Singh tried to protect himself with his hands and attempted to run away as the blows came down on him.

He felt someone repeatedly punching and kicking his body and legs, followed by a sharp pain in his left hand and left ear.

He thought it was a case of mistaken identity and asked his attackers what he had done wrong.

By the time he reached the lift lobby of a block of flats, he realised he was bleeding badly from his head and left hand. The turban he was wearing had also come off.

Mr Egan said he was walking on a path near Kallang MRT station when four men blocked his way. He was then grabbed and pushed backwards until he hit some bushes.

One attacker tried to take his wallet and phone from his shirt pocket, and punched him in the left eye.

But the events that followed are a blur, he said.

He recalled that when he managed to stand up, he realised his hands were "dangling" and he was bleeding profusely. He then staggered to the MRT station for help.

Mr Singh now works a cleaner; Mr Egan is unemployed.

The trial continues.

selinal@sph.com.sg