Alleged rioters file complaint, claim abuse by police

SINGAPORE: The police are investigating a formal complaint of abuse filed by three Indian nationals facing criminal charges for rioting in Little India on December 2013.

The complaint, by construction workers Rajendran Mohan and Ravi Arun Vengatesh, as well as IT project manager Arun Kaliamurthy, alleges physical assault and verbal abuse by police officers during the course of their arrest after the riot.

Filed by their lawyer M Ravi, it was addressed to the Internal Affairs Office (IAO) of the Singapore Police Force. Copies of the complaint and a response by the police were provided on Wednesday to the media by Arun Kaliamurthy and Mr Ravi, respectively.

In response to media queries, the police said the IAO had taken statements from the three accused after they had made their allegations of abuse on December 17.

“Investigations into the veracity of the allegations are ongoing,” a police spokesperson said.

The formal complaint follows allegations of police abuse made in court in December by some foreign workers remanded in relation to the riot on December 8, which occurred after an Indian foreign worker was fatally injured by a private bus.

Arun Kaliamurthy, 28, who was a tourist in Singapore at the time of the riot, alleged that he was punched and slapped by police officers. Rajendran, 25, alleged that he was punched, while Ravi, 24, claimed he was slapped four to five times.

The police said it takes “a serious view” of all complaints made and will investigate all complaints thoroughly.

“If criminal offences are disclosed, the police will not hesitate to bring criminal charges against the errant officer. However, if the allegations are found to be false, appropriate action in accordance with our laws will be taken against any persons who furnish false information to the police,” a spokesperson said.

Under the Penal Code, those who are found guilty of providing false information to a public servant could be jailed up to a year and fined up to S$5,000.

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