Riot breaks out in Little India

Aerial view of where the riot took place at Little India, Singapore (Photo: Screen grab from YouTube) 
 
***Update: 10 Dec, 9.11am***
The Singapore Police Force posted an update on its Facebook page about the suspects involved in the Little India riot: "As of 10 December 2013 at 3:20am, further investigations revealed that two more male subjects, one Indian National and one Singaporean PR, were not involved in the riot at Little India on 8 December 2013. This brings the total number of persons to be charged this morning for the incident to 24. All of them are Indian Nationals. The four subjects who were not involved in the incident have since been released from Police custody."
 
***Update: 9 Dec, 17.26pm***
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on his Facebook page that he has ordered a Committee of Inquiry (COI) to look into the Little India riot. The COI will review the factors that led to the incident, how the incident was handled, and how we manage areas where foreign workers congregate.
 
***Update: 9 Dec, 2:23am***
Press conference with Teo Chee Hean, Coordinating Minister for National Security: A total of 27 individuals have been arrested for rioting with dangerous weapons. The deceased pedestrian (found trapped under the bus) was an Indian national. The bus driver, a Singaporean, is hospitalised.

Press statemnet by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF): "U
pon arrival there was a man trapped under a bus. An SCDF paramedic pronounced him dead on arrival (and) SCDF rescuers extricated the body using hydraulic rescue equipment. Projectiles were thrown at the SCDF rescuers while they were extricating the body. A total of 9 SCDF vehicles were damaged in the incident."
 
***Update 9 Dec, 1.29am***

Press statement by the Singapore Police Force:"On Dec 8 at 2123 hrs, a fatal traffic accident occurred between a private bus and a person at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road. Shortly after, a riot broke out involving a crowd of about 400 subjects where the subjects damaged 5 police vehicles and 1 ambulance. Several other private vehicles were also damaged. 10 officers were injured.

"Police activated resources from Special Operations Command and Gurkha Contingent to the sene and the situation is under control.

"Police would like to advise the public in the area to remain indoors while police operations are ongoing. Other members of the public are advised to keep away from the vicinity. Members of the public are also advised to stay calm and not to speculate on this incident. Members of the public with any information of the riot are advised to call the police at 1800-2550000.

"Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Teo Chee Hean, said, 'This is a serious incident which has resulted in injuries and damage to public property. the situation is now under control. Police will spare no efforts to apprehend the subjects involved in the riot.'" 

In a scene quite unlike a typical Sunday night (8 December) in Singapore, a riot has broken out at Little India.
 
The riot is believed to have started after someone was allegedly hit by a bus, according to initial reports on social media. Several videos of the rioting along Race Course Road and Hampshire Road have been uploaded onto YouTube.
 
In one video, a private bus with a BT & Tan signage is seen surrounded by individuals and under attack by a man wielding a weapon (0:15) to shatter the windscreen, and another man throwing a dustbin at the bus before being stopped by a passerby.

Listening to the video, a man is overheard saying in Tamil (at 0:36) “the driver is still inside”. 

The crowds have reportedly dispersed after the commotion first broke out around 9.30pm.

“At around 9.30pm, we heard sirens wailing around the neighbourhood,” Derek Lim, 35, a resident who lives on Race Course Road, said. “We didn’t think too much about it, but later we went out when we heard explosions and saw vehicles on fire at Race Course and Hampshire road.”  

Viknesh Kobinathan, 25, a student who lives in Little India, told inSing that he saw a police car “getting trashed by five or six people”. A video uploaded on YouTube shows two police cars turned on its side and another one physically moved.

The Singapore Police Force has confirmed that the rioting happened at 9.23pm. The police said that they are "in control" of the situation. Three busloads of riot police were dispatched to the area.

An update was also posted on the Facebook page of the police force, notifying Facebook users that "police officers are at scene and are dealing with the situation. The public is advised to keep away from the affected area. Further updates will be given when available".

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin posted on his Facebook page: "Stay Calm. Don't speculate. Singapore Police Force is on the ground. This is not a game. Nor time for politicking. Our guys are on the line. Support them please."

This report is still developing. Tweet us at: https://twitter.com/inSingBuddy

Watch videos of the rioting below:





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