Monday, December 9, 2013

27 Indian immigrants were arrested for involvement in a Singapore riot

(photo taken from

Singapore is a financial capitol in East Asia and this city attracts people from all over the region (all over Asia).  Of course, when you have diversity (different types of people) in your society, there is always the possibility for misunderstandings and conflict.

Apparently a bus accidentally hit an Indian man in an Indian neighborhood of Singapore (a neighborhood is an area where people live - each city is made of many neighborhoods). Instead of the crowd working quickly to get the man medical attention, they attacked the bus and started a riot. A riot is when a  crowd begins acting violently and destructively. Apparently the crowd was made up of Indian immigrants to Singapore who lived in a neighborhood called "Little India." Newspapers and the police have stated that no Singaporeans were observed participating in the riots.  27 Indians have apparently been arrested for participating in the riots.

Here is an article from a Malaysian newspaper about the situation:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to be arrested - to be taken by the police into custody; to be taken by the police to a police station

Firemen douse a charred ambulance - to douse means to pour a lot of water on something; charred means burned; an ambulance is a vehicle that takes people to the hospital.  This story is really strange to me - instead of getting the man to the hospital in the ambulance, these criminals preferred to start a riot.

being set upon - being attacked

a mob - a group of people

pinned under the vehicle - the man who was hit by the bus was stuck under the bus; if he was 'pinned' under the vehicle, it was difficult to remove him

shattering the windscreen - breaking the front window of the bus

shouting vulgarities in Tamil - they were using coarse or 'dirty' words spoken in an Indian language

a rescuer - someone who can save or help another person

hydraulic tools - special tools that can lift very heavy objects.  So the Singaporean rescuers arrived to try to save the man, and the crowd stupidly attacked the rescuers.

projectiles - anything that can be thrown can be called a projectile; often times a projectile is a rock or bottle

extricating the body - removing the body

spiralled out of control - became so aggressive that they couldn't be controlled

reinforcements - extra police to help the initial police

400 strong - at least 400

clad - wearing

anti-riot gear - something like this:

a bird's eye view - they could look down from their apartment windows

fanned out - spread out

were still ablaze - were still on fire

conveyed 18 casualties - taken 18 people who were injured (hurt)

a deep gash in his neck - a deep cut

a grave incident - serious incident

sparked the rioting - caused the rioting

we will spare no effort - we will do everything we can, we will use every effort

culprits - those who committed the crimes

a pest control officer - this is the man's job, he kills bugs/insects

glass shards - pieces of glass

paramedics - people who work inside ambulances to keep people alive or comfortable until they reach the hospital

ensuing - following

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