SINGAPORE - Three men had wanted to celebrate Thaipusam and enjoyed some live music but ended up causing a ruckus and getting into a scuffle with the police.
Safety officer Gunasegaran Rajendran, 36, was at the Thaipusam procession on Feb 3, 2015 to support his elder brother who was one of the bearers of kavadis - structures of steel and wood.
He and businessman Ramachandra Chandramohan, 35, had engaged a troupe to play urumi - a traditional Indian drum - during the procession. Joining them at the festivities was operations manager Jayakumar Krishnasamy, 31.
But the musicians were stopped by the police as there was a ban on the playing of musical instruments during Thaipusam at the time.
This upset Ramachandra and Gunasegaran who shouted at the three police officers, a court heard.
When Staff Sergeant Lee Aik Seng arrested Gunasegaran, Ramachandra punched him on the lower jaw. He also verbally abused Senior Staff Sergeant Azli Othman twice.
The third accused, Jayakumar, tried to stop Senior Staff Sergeants Azli and Chew Wei Bin from taking Ramachandra into the police van. He also verbally abused Senior Staff Sgt Azli inside the vehicle.
While the van was travelling from Desker Road to Police Cantonment Complex, Ramachandra kicked Senior Staff Sgt Chew on his lower jaw and verbally abused Senior Staff Sgt Azli, the court heard.
On Friday (Feb 2) , the three men were convicted of disorderly behaviour and other charges. Ramachandra was found guilty of seven charges including assault and verbal abuse, while Jayakumar and Gunasegaran were convicted of three and two charges respectively.
Prosecution evidence showed that Ramachandra and Gunasegaran perceived the police officers as behaving in a high-handed manner and were "rough, loud and rude". They felt they had been manhandled and treated like criminals.
District Judge Kessler Soh did not find it to be the case.
"Police officers were there to maintain public order. In the process, they had to speak with authority and they had to speak loudly at times so that they could be heard," he said.
After having reviewed the evidence and seen the videos, he found that the prosecution had proven the charges against each of them beyond a reasonable doubt.
Both Jayakumar and Gunasegaran said they had not intended to create trouble on Thaipusam, a holy festival for the Hindus. Ramachandra said they went for trial to highlight the mistakes of the police.
The trio are likely to be sentenced on March 6.