Three Indian, facing charges in Singapore court for their alleged roles in December 8 riots in Singapore, have filed a formal complaint of police assault with the Internal Affairs Office (IAO), The Straits Times reported today.
The trio are IT product manager Arun Kaliamurthy, 28, who was visiting Singapore as a tourist when he was implicated in the riot, Rajendran Mohan, 25, and Ravi Arun Vengatesh, 24, who were working in Singapore but were alleged to have rioted.
The three alleged they were physically assaulted, and subjected to insults and threats, to get them to admit to their roles in the riot, Singapore’s worst street violence in 40 years which left 39 Home Team/Police officers injured and 25 government vehicles damaged.
The three are out on bail. They were arrested from separate places after the riot, and are part of 25 Indian nationals facing court charges for rioting in Singapore’s Little India, a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where South Asians working in Singapore spend their day off.
Their lawyer, M. Ravi, urged a “fair and just” probe by the IAO into the allegations. The IAO is an independent unit of the Singapore Police Force that investigates disciplinary offences or crimes committed by officers during the course of their work. The IAO had taken statements from the three after they raised the allegations in court last month.
Rajendran had alleged that he was coerced to admit involvement in the riot, even if innocent, to accept blame “for the other Tamils who did indeed participate.”
The Straits Times cited Rajendran as saying that he was told if he did not confess, he would be “sent home in a body bag”.
Arun said he was slapped and punched, including by a female officer.
Allegations of abuse first came up in court on December 17. Responding then, Singapore’s Second Minister for Home Affairs, S. Iswaran, had said such claims were viewed seriously and would be investigated thoroughly.