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Published: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 8:02:14 AM

Measures to ensure order and safety in the works

THE government will look into measures to ensure order and safety in Little India after last Sunday’s riot, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an interview in Seoul, where he is on an official visit.

This will include looking at how the transport flow can be made safer, he said.

“Serangoon Road is crowded every weekend and we want to make sure that everything is orderly and safe next weekend and thereafter.

“We’ve decided this weekend, no alcohol, and thereafter we’ll work out some interim arrangements ... until such time as we can come to firmer conclusions and make some more permanent arrangements,” he said.

Lee also said the investigations into the incident, which involved some 400 foreign workers throwing objects at police and attacking vehicles, are carrying on well.

The government has to deal with the matter firmly and make clear rioting is unacceptable, but “we have to be fair to the persons who are not involved, even the persons who are involved, there has to be a due process of law”, he added.

Though understandably shocked, Singaporeans have reacted calmly to the riot, and yesterday, Lee called for continued restraint.

“Whether online or anywhere else we have to exercise some restraint.

“The anxiety and the alarm is quite understandable but if we express ourselves in unrestrained, unreserved terms and sometimes xenophobic terms even, on the internet you’ve seen quite a lot of those, I don’t think that is helpful,” he said.

Lee said the government hopes to announce “within a day or two” more details on the Committee of Inquiry set up to look into the incident, including the names of the committee members and the terms of reference.

Meanwhile, four Indian nationals were charged in court yesterday for their involvement in the riot.

Three are accused of throwing pieces of hardened concrete at the police officers responding to the melee along Race Course Road.

The fourth man is accused of being a member of an unlawful assembly and attacking – with a dustbin, wooden stick, hardened concrete, bottles and a metal drain cover – the private bus, which was previously reported to have run over and killed an Indian national at the junction of Tekka Lane and Race Course Road.

The fourth man is also accused of overturning and later setting on fire a police vehicle during the chaos.

This now brings the total number of accused persons facing charges for Sunday’s incident in Little India to 31.

This after the first group of 27 were hauled up to court over Tuesday and Wednesday. They have been remanded for further investigations and will return to court on Dec 19.

Police have also installed additonal closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the vicinity of Race Course Road and Buffalo Road, where Sunday’s riot occured. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Tags / Keywords: Four more Indian nationals charged

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