Singapore bans alcohol consumption, sale in riot hit Little India

RiotsSingapore's civil defence officers extinguish burning vehicles following a riot in Singapore's Little India district. (Reuters)

Sale and consumption of alcohol will be banned this coming weekend in Little India's Race Course Road area where riot broke out on Sunday night after a fatal accident.

Announcing the ban on Monday, Second Minister for Home

Affairs S Iswaran said details of the ban, such as exactly what time it would apply and what geographical area it would cover, would be worked out by the police.

Though it was too early to say definitively what caused the riot, which was triggered after a fatal traffic accident, it is "plausible that alcohol consumption was a contributory factor", The Straits Times quoted the Minister as saying.

"And that is why we have taken this step in the first instance in order to stabilise the situation," stressed Iswaran after visiting the area last evening.

Transport Minister and Member of Parliament for the area, Lui Tuck Yew, said that he has wanted curbs on the sale of alcohol in the area for some time, after seeing the proliferation of liquor licences there.

"I know my residents will fully support this immediate measure," he said.

Lui and Iswaran visited the area yesterday, during which they spoke to shopkeepers there.

Meanwhile, flowers, as a respect, were laid on road curbs at the spot along Race Course Road yesterday where the 33-year old Indian national died in an accident with the bus.

Local media reports said Sakthivel Kumaravelu was drunk when he forcefully boarded an already full bus. He was told to get off the bus when he misbehaved.

According to illustrations in The Straits Times, Kumaravelu got off the bus but was pinned under the rear left wheel when the vehicle made a left turn.

Police's rescue team trying to extricate Kumaravelu's body was attacked by the crowd gathered around the scene.

The crowd grew grew boisterous and lobbed bottles, chairs and projectiles at the rescue crew, hindering their work.

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