Indian national likely first accused in Little India riot to give plea

A 32-year-old Indian national is expected to be the first accused who was allegedly involved in the Little India riot to give his plea.

Chinnappa Vijayaragunatha Poopathi, who was originally accused of rioting in Little India, is expected to plead guilty to a reduced charge.

The prosecution told the court on Friday that it has agreed to reduce the charge against Chinnappa to allegedly being involved in an unlawful assembly of at least five persons despite having been ordered to disperse.

This came about after his lawyer Sunil Sudheesan made representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

If found guilty, Chinnappa could be jailed for up to five years and/or fined.

The original rioting charge carries a jail term of up to seven years and caning.

Chinnappa, who is in remand, will be back in court on Feb 7 for his plea to be taken. He is one of 25 alleged rioters charged for their purported role in the mayhem near Race Course Road on Dec 8.

The cases against the other 24 are due for a pre-trial conference next Wednesday.