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Little India riot: Committee report set to address 3 key issues

The Straits Times | Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014

The Committee of Inquiry into the riot in Little India on Dec 8 last year is set to release its findings and recommendations tomorrow. The report will also take in evidence uncovered by a Central Narcotics Bureau team tasked with conducting an independent investigation for the committee.

The Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the Little India riot last Dec 8 is set to release its findings and recommendations tomorrow.

This, after the four-man panel, led by former Supreme Court judge G. Pannir Selvam, heard evidence from 93 witnesses over the course of 24 days of public hearings, which ended on March 26.

The report will also take in evidence uncovered by a team from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), which was tasked with conducting an independent investigation for the COI.

The team, led by CNB director of investigations Adam Fashe Huddin, conducted 324 interviews, reviewed hours of video footage and made 11 site visits.

The committee's report was originally due to be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean on June 13.

But DPM Teo granted an extension for the COI to go through testimonies from interviews on June 3 with three Indian nationals convicted for their roles in the riot.

The Sunday Times looks at three key questions raised over the course of the inquiry, which the committee's report is expected to address, among other things.

Q: Was alcohol a leading cause of the violence?

Mr Adam told the COI that alcohol was "the main contributory factor" behind the riot.

"Alcohol bottles were literally raining at police officers," he said.

Officers at the scene also testified that they could smell alcohol on the breath of many people within the mob that night.

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