Wait. Did you hear what I said? There was a riot. In Singapore. There hasn't been a riot here since 1969. When I first heard of the riot, I actually thought it was happening in India and not Little India in Singapore.
Things turned ugly very quickly. More people joined in and it spread. Everything and anything became a weapon - beer bottles, tiles from the ground, dustbins, flower pots, vegetables, uprooted trees, stones, bricks. The target: the uniformed officers.
It was Sunday night in Little India. This means the place was very likely jam packed with foreign workers. I've been to Little India on a regular riot-free Sunday afternoon. It's pretty scary. So many people squeezed together.
You can read more about it here and here.
Not everyone participated actively in the riot. Many were just bystanders. Some just jeered or cheered. A few were taking videos. In this video, you can see a guy trying to get the mob to stop. In vain. I wonder what happened to him?
|via asia one|
Meanwhile, me and everyone else in Singapore were watching the riot on fb and twitter. It was really terrifying, yet unreal.
This video rattled me. The mob surrounding the emergency vehicles.
In this video, emergency officers ran for their lives. I felt so sad. The mob was jeering. How frightening for the officers who don't even make that much money.
In this video, the mob tried to overturn a police car and there are people in the car!
This video shows the tailend of the riot.
Thankfully, within an hour, the situation was under control after busloads of riot police came. Amazingly, not a single shot was fired. The police really exercised maximum restraint. It's a good thing guns aren't allowed in Singapore otherwise there would have been more tragedies. Weirdly, only 27 people were arrested. I guess, the rest ran away.
I wonder if this guy was arrested.
The total damage:
22 Police Officers and 5 Auxilliary Police Officers, the bus driver, the bus assistant and 12 SCDF officers were injured.
16 police vehicles, 9 SCDF vehicles(three ambulances, one Red Rhino, one fire engine, and four support vehicles) were damaged.
Thankfully, no one else died. The bus driver has also been arrested and is out on bail.
This weekend, there is a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol at Little India. Meanwhile life goes on. But for the authorities, they have much to do and think about.