Singapore to deploy police to 'maintain law and order' in Little India during Diwali

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Singapore to deploy police to 'maintain law and order' in Little India during Diwali
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Singapore Police and Auxiliary Police officers will step up patrolling in the Little India precinct to “maintain law and order” during Diwali as large crowds are expected in the locality.

Singapore Police will step up patrolling in the Little India precinct to “maintain law and order” during Diwali. (Representative Image)

By Press Trust of India: Singapore Police and Auxiliary Police officers will step up patrolling in the Little India precinct to “maintain law and order” during Diwali as large crowds are expected in the locality on Sunday at the eve of the festival of lights.

In an advisory issued on Thursday, the Singapore Police Force reminded the public about restrictions on drinking alcohol in the area, setting off sparklers, and illegally discharging fireworks.

With heavy vehicular and human traffic expected this weekend along Serangoon Road — the thoroughfare of the precinct — Auxiliary Police officers will be deployed to regulate traffic and assist motorists, said the police.

This is the first Diwali post-pandemic and there is an atmosphere of an extended weekend as the festival falls on Monday.

The past two Diwali celebrations have been muted with COVID-19 safety measures enforced to control the disease’s spread.

Diwali celebrations were mostly at home, said a 23-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean speaking anonymously. “We mostly stayed home then.”

“Motorists are advised to make alternative travel arrangements and to drive with caution. Strict enforcement action will also be taken against illegal parking,” Channel News Asia quoted the police as saying.

The police have also reiterated that no public drinking is allowed within Little India, which is a demarcated Liquor Control Zone, from 10.30 pm on Friday to 7 am on Tuesday.

Anyone found consuming liquor in any public place within a Liquor Control Zone during these days can be fined up to SGD 1,500. Repeat offenders could face a heavier fine of SGD 3,000, a four-and-a-half month jail term, or both.

Retailers who supply liquor beyond the permitted trading hours may also have their liquor licences revoked.

The police also warned against setting off improvised explosive devices constructed using sparklers and discharging fireworks illegally.

They highlighted the potential fire hazards involved and the ability to cause “undue danger and alarm” to the public.

Those who set off improvised explosive devices could be jailed for up to one year, fined up to SGD 5,000, or both.

This could increase to a seven-year jail term, a fine, caning, or any combination of these punishments if the act leads to any hurt caused.

Those found to illegally possess and discharge fireworks could get up to two years in jail, fined up to SGD 5,000, or both.

Importing fireworks is also an offence punishable by a jail term of between six months and two years, and caning of up to six strokes, the Channel quoted the police as saying.

Little India witnessed Singapore’s worst riot on December 8 in 2013 after a fatal accident involving a migrant worker caused angry mobs of passersby to attack the bus involved and emergency vehicles that had by then arrived at the location.

About 300 migrant labourers, mostly from India, were involved in the riot which lasted for around two hours.

Weekend revelling in Little India has since been restricted with sales and consumption of alcohol controlled from 7 pm onwards.



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