A 26-year-old Indian origin man was convicted in Singapore court for his involvement in a riot, which was involved over 50 non-Singaporeans using makeshift weapons that caused serious injuries to the victims.
The accused, Yadwinder Singh was sentenced to five years an five months of imprisonment, including 12 strokes of the cane on Friday.
The brawl happened near the Silat Road Sikh Temple in Jalan Bukit Merah on April 2, 2017, that caused a huge traffic disruption when the fight spilt onto the Kampong Bahru Road. It started after the prayers at around 1 pm when some of Singh's gang members got involved in a clash with other worshippers outside the temple.
On Thursday, March 21, 2019, the accused pleaded guilty to one count each of rioting, failing to provide his travel documents while attempting to leave Singapore and extortion, which is related to another incident.
Singh was arrested on 2018 October during his attempt to escape from the Republic to Malaysia by hiding inside the cargo area of a bus.
During the sentencing, District Judge Marvin Bay said that "the rioting charge involved a particularly serious incident that involved two large groups of men, reported to number 50 to 60 people, along Kampong Bahru Road."
Judge Bay also added that "Wooden poles, planks and belts were used by both groups in the course of the riot. The fracas spilt onto the road causing severe disruption to traffic. Members of both groups suffered serious injuries."
The court documents revealed that earlier in 2016, Singh was sent to jail for committing offences which includes rioting and as per the order, he was not allowed to commit any more offences between January 21 and July 2, 2017. Now, he has to face an additional 129 days of jail term as he violated the remission order after his release from prison in January 2017.
Singh faced the extortion charge as he and his group tried to extort $1,500 from 21-year-old Simadeep Kaur, who was then living with four other Indian citizens in a Jellicoe Road flat near Lavender Street. The incident happened on February 24, 2017, after a member of Singh's group called 'Babbu' told Kaur that they would inform the Housing Board because too many people were living in the unit.
During the sentencing, Jason Chua, Deputy Public Prosecutor told the court "Babbu informed that they would get into trouble with the law and would be evicted from the unit if they did not pay up."
However, when one of the Indian residents gave the group more than $200 they left the scene.
But, Singh tried to leave the country illegally at the time when he was supposed to stand trial at the State Courts over the Kampong Bahru Road riot. Even though he was trying to escape the trial by hiding inside the cargo area of a Malaysian bus, officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority arrested him after conducting an initial search. The Malaysian driver who was helping Sing to escape and other offenders have already faced the court hearing.