Rare riot

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AGEN­CIES in Sin­ga­pore

A crowd of around 400 peo­ple set fire to ve­hi­cles and clashed with po­lice in the In­dian dis­trict of Sin­ga­pore, the first ma­jor riot in the city

state in more than 40 years.

A crowd of around 400 peo­ple set fire to ve­hi­cles and clashed with po­lice in the In­dian dis­trict of Sin­ga­pore late on Sun­day af­ter a man was hit and killed by a bus, the first ma­jor riot in the city-state in more than 40 years.

Po­lice said they had ar­rested 27 sus­pects af­ter the riot, which started af­ter a pri­vate bus hit and killed a 33-yearold In­dian na­tional in the Lit­tle In­dia area.

The riot is likely to fuel con­cerns about dis­con­tent among low-paid for­eign work­ers. Last year, Sin­ga­pore saw its big­gest out­break of la­bor un­rest in years when around 170 bus driv­ers from China went on strike il­le­gally.

The po­lice said five po­lice ve­hi­cles and an am­bu­lance were dam­aged in the ri­ots.

Sev­eral videos posted online showed a crowd of peo­ple smash­ing the wind­screen of the bus while the vic­tim re­mained trapped un­der the ve­hi­cle.

Po­lice said the 27 ar­rested were of South Asian ori­gin and that they ex­pected to make more ar­rests in com­ing days. About 300 of­fi­cers were sent on to the streets to quell the riot.

A state­ment by the Civil De­fence Force, which over­sees am­bu­lances and fire­fight­ing, said res­cuers try­ing to re­move the body had “pro­jec­tiles” thrown at them when they ar­rived on the scene.

Footage showed po­lice cars be­ing flipped over and sev­eral ve­hi­cles on fire. The CDF said an am­bu­lance, three po­lice cars and a mo­tor­bike were burnt.

The Sin­ga­pore Po­lice Force said the vi­o­lence started fol­low­ing the bus ac­ci­dent.

“Shortly af­ter, a riot broke out in­volv­ing a crowd of about 400 sub­jects,” it said in a state­ment, adding that around 10 po­lice of­fi­cers were in­jured.

Sin­ga­pore Po­lice Force Com­mis­sioner Ng Joo Hee said, “As far as we know now, there was no Sin­ga­porean in­volved in the riot.”

“The un­wanted vi­o­lence, ri­ot­ing, de­struc­tion of prop­erty, fight­ing the po­lice, is not the Sin­ga­pore way,” Ng said.

Lit­tle In­dia is usu­ally packed with peo­ple on Sun­days, with many con­struc­tion work­ers from Bangladesh and In­dia gath­er­ing there to spend their day off. Sin­ga­pore has not seen a riot of this scale since 1969, when Chi­nese and Malay res­i­dents clashed vi­o­lently. The

JONATHAN CHOO / THE NEW PA­PER VIA AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Ri­ot­ers are on a ram­page in Sin­ga­pore’s Lit­tle In­dia dis­trict late on Sun­day. Hun­dreds of South Asian work­ers ri­oted in Sin­ga­pore af­ter be­ing en­raged by a fatal road ac­ci­dent, leav­ing 18 peo­ple in­jured and po­lice ve­hi­cles burnt in the city-state’s worst out­break of vi­o­lence in more than 40 years.

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