Lawyer M Ravi: Secure Release of Innocent Tamils Jailed in Singapore

Expressing concern over the plight of the Tamils arrested in connection with the Little India riots in December last year, M Ravi, an Indian-born Human Rights lawyer in Singapore, has sought the intervention of the Centre to secure the release of those still languishing in Singapore jails.

Talking to reporters here on Saturday, Ravi said the rights of the Tamil people, most of whom were construction workers, were violated by the Singapore government, post the riots in Little India, triggered by the death of 33-year-old Shakthivel Kumaravelu in an accident caused by a Chinese bus driver.

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Ravi rued that neither the Indian Embassy nor the Centre raised any concern against the atrocities of the Singapore government, which arrested more than 70 Tamil people in Little India. Those arrested were booked for causing the two-hour riot and damaging public property.

Ravi, who according to sources, has been fighting to get these workers released from jail, said that of the 79 workers arrested, 53 were deported to Tamil Nadu after the charges against them were cleared. However, the rest of the innocent helpless workers are still under custody without any evidence, he stated.

Those who were released after being found innocent have not been paid any compensation or relief by the Singapore government for the false charges made against them.

“The remaining are still kept in custody without any substantial proof. Three came out on bail recently after my intervention, but we have to bring everyone out. But that will be possible only if the Tamil Nadu government takes special interest and demands the intervention of the Indian government,” said Ravi.

Most of these workers had landed in Singapore in construction jobs after paying huge sums to agencies.

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