- POSTED: 17 Dec 2013 18:56
- UPDATED: 19 Feb 2014 18:38
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Seven Indian nationals charged with rioting at Little India on December 8 had the charges against them withdrawn on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE: Seven Indian nationals charged with rioting at Little India on December 8 had the charges against them withdrawn on Tuesday.
This is after the prosecution applied to the court for the seven charges to be dropped, after police investigations pertaining to them were completed.
The seven men, aged between 22 and 45, initially faced one rioting charge each.
The 22-year-old, who is the youngest of all accused persons in the case, was previously alleged to have thrown a dustbin at the bus involved in the fatal accident which apparently sparked the riot.
He was also alleged to have used a wooden stick to smash the bus windscreen and thrown items, like a metal drain, at the vehicle.
The other six men were previously accused of throwing concrete pieces at the police officers.
The seven men were released past 7pm on Tuesday. And six employers were present to meet their workers.
Only 45-year-old Sellamuthu Elangovan headed back alone.
He declined to be interviewed, and nodded when asked if he felt relieved.
Mr Thiyagarajan, site manager of Kong Hwee Iron Works & Construction, told Channel NewsAsia he is happy that his worker, Mr Selvarasu Dhanapal has been cleared of the charges.
25-year-old Mr Selvarasu hugged Mr Thiyagarajan upon his release.
Mr Thiyagarajan said Mr Selvarasu's brother is in Singapore and that his family was not informed of his arrest.
He added that Mr Selvarasu will meet up with his brother to tell them more about the incident.
During Tuesday's court session, prosecutor John Lu asked for another 23 men to be remanded further to help with police investigations.
Of those, two men were charged on Tuesday, while the other 21 men had their charges read out last week.
Several of those who are to be remanded further had also brought up allegations of police abuse or said they were innocent.
District Judge Lim Tse Haw had explained that they can make a report about the alleged abuse if they wished to.
The court also heard that the Indian High Commission is liaising with the accused persons to provide assistance.
The latest development leaves the cases of another five accused to be heard in the next two days.
This brings the total number of people charged, including those whose charges were withdrawn, to 35.
If convicted of rioting, each accused person can be jailed up to seven years and caned.