About 20 to 30 foreign workers - some of whom were throwing projectiles - gathered around the bus after it struck an Indian national foreign worker on Dec 8 last year, Certis Cisco constable Nathan Chandra Sekaran told the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on Monday.
"We were out-numbered," he said testifying at the fourth day of the public hearing convened to look into how and why the riot happened. Mr Nathan told the inquiry that he was one of the first officers on the scene, along with five others. "I went to the left side of the bus to take a look at the body," he said, referring to 33-year-old Sakthivel Kumaravelu, who was killed after he fell into the path of a moving bus. "At this juncture I observed more foreign workers joining the crowd around the bus."
He said that some of them were shouting at the bus timekeeper Wong Geck Woon, 38, who was on the bus with bus driver Lee Kim Huat, 55. He said: "As I can understand Tamil, I heard the foreign workers shouting words to the effect that the timekeeper had caused the death of the deceased because she had asked him to depart the bus earlier.
"They wanted to kill her and they wanted to burn the bus," he recounted, adding that the comments were from foreign workers who were standing at the back of the crowd. Those in front, however, were "peaceful" and wanted to "take a closer look" at the body, he added.