Alleged Little India rioters want to make representations to COI

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Lawyer M Ravi, who is representing six Indian nationals who are alleged to have participated in the riot in Little India on 8 December, has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs to inform the authorities of his clients’ wish to make representation at the Committee of Inquiry hearings into the incident.

The four-member COI was convened by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister, Teo Chee Hean on 13 December to look into the cause of the riot.

It is headed by former Supreme Court Judge G Pannir Selvam.

The other members are: former police commissioner Tee Tua Ba, former president of the National Trades Union Congress John De Payva and chairman of West Coast Citizens’ Consultative Committee Andrew Chua Thiam Chwee.

Earlier this month, the COI invited anyone who is interested to make representations to write to it at: [email protected] .

They are to provide brief information on the evidence and documents that they wish to present at the hearing.

The five terms of reference for the COI are:

a.          Establish the factors and circumstances that led to the riot in Little India on 8 December 2013.

b.          Establish how the riot unfolded and how the response forces managed the incident.

c.          Consider whether current measures to manage such incidents in areas where foreign workers congregate such as Little India are adequate, and recommend any further measures to improve their management and reduce the risk of such incidents.

d.          Conduct itself in accordance with the provisions of the Inquiries Act.

e.          Make and submit a report of its proceedings, findings and recommendations to the Minister for Home Affairs within six months.

Mr Ravi’s clients include the family of Sathivel Kumaravelu, the Indian national whose death reportedly sparked the riot.

The COI was reported to have “conducted voluntary interviews with 20 of the 57 foreign workers who were repatriated before they left Singapore.” (CNA)

In his letter to the MHA on Monday, Mr Ravi said:

“As our firm represents the largest number of individuals who have been charged or deported in relation to the incidents that took place on 8 December 2013, we are writing on behalf of our clients, who constitute an interested party, and we wish to represent them at the hearing.”