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Sgt Uvaraja’s friend calls for comprehensive investigation and transparency in light of SPF’s statement on officer’s suicide

Following the tragic death of Sergeant Uvaraja S/O Gopal, a 35-year-old Singaporean police officer who was found unconscious at Block 393 Yishun Avenue 6 on 21 July 2023 and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital, his close friend and former colleague, Raj Naga, has responded to the Singapore Police Force’s (SPF) statement issued on Monday (24 Jul).

In a Facebook post, Raj detailed his perspective on the alleged instances of discrimination, bullying, and systemic corruption within the Ang Mo Kio North Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), all factors that may have led to Sgt. Uvaraja’s untimely death.

Raj challenged the Police’s assertion that they are currently unable to provide all the relevant facts regarding the case.

“This is not the outcome of any investigation at this stage. This is not in any way, shape or form a conclusion,” he stated.

Raj also emphasized the media’s role in sensationalizing the incident, highlighting various interpretations and angles taken by different platforms.

According to Raj, the following points should be considered in the ongoing investigation:

  • The six different units Sgt. Uvaraja had requested transfers to and whether there is evidence to prove these requests;
  • the provided “coaching” to address his performance issues; the correlation between his absenteeism and the complaints classified as unsubstantiated;
  • the manner in which he was supported at work;
  • whether he received consistent counselling or psychological support; and
  • the duration he continued to report to the same Commanding Officer after his complaints were found to be unsubstantiated.

Raj highlighted his intimate knowledge of the events that transpired between 2015 to 2017 but refrained from speculating on the events following those years.

“But I do believe that the events that occurred between 2015 to 2017 shaped the trajectory of Raja’s career and wellbeing,” he added.

Prior to his death, Sgt. Uvaraja had exposed his experiences of workplace discrimination and bullying in an extensive Facebook post.

He alleged that he was frequently undermined, demeaned, and bullied due to his race, an issue that has provoked public discourse.

In response to Sgt. Uvaraja’s allegations, the SPF statement clarified his work record, the multiple transfers he requested, his additional leave beyond usual entitlements, counselling and psychological assistance he received, and the complaints he made about the misconduct of fellow officers.

The statement also revealed that Sgt. Uvaraja had tensions with his family, leading to ongoing police investigations against him for alleged assault and harassment.

The SPF further emphasized their stance against racial discrimination and noted the allegations made by Sgt. Uvaraja were found to be unsubstantiated in previous investigations.

Despite this, the allegations are set to be reviewed again, with the findings to be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Minister for Home Affairs for further review.

The announcement, however, has been met with skepticism, with calls from netizens for an independent body to conduct the inquiry.

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