SINGAPORE, (Xinhua): Singapore’s authorities arrested 27 suspects from South Asia over a rare riot happened on Sunday evening in an ethnic neighbourhood, Little India, the police said in a press conference before dawn on Monday morning.
The riot, which was believed unpremeditated and involved a crowd of about 400 subjects, was sparked off by a fatal traffic accident between a private bus and a person at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road.
The accident involved a 33-year-old Indian national who was knocked down by the private bus. The bus driver was injured and remained in hospital.
The police said there were 5 police vehicles and 1 ambulance damaged during the riot, which started at around 9:23 P.M. on Sunday. Several other private vehicles were also damaged, it added.
Ng Joo Hee, the Commissioner of Police in Singapore Police Force, said in the conference that the riot was under control by the police within an hour after the first call was received.
Some 300 officers had been deployed to handle the riot. The police said there were 10 police officers injured. Seven are in hospital and most of them are understood to be in a stable condition.
“We treat this incident very seriously, and we have classified the chaos as one of rioting with dangerous weapons. We will spare no efforts to arrest who are involved,” the police said.
Ng also added that not a single shot – lethal or non-lethal – was fired by the police officers during the riot.
Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean said the government “will not tolerate such lawless behaviour,” asking the public to stay calm, not to speculate on this incident.
He also emphasized that the government will deal with all aspects of this incidents and all persons involved “strictly, firmly and fairly according to the law.”
Riot has been rare in Singapore over the past 3 to 4 decades, the police added.