Breaking News – Riot In Little India Singapore!

Less than 14 hours ago, I was in Little India to join a group of photographers for street shoot but the relentless rain refused a shutter count to all except me. I managed to have a few shots of my late lunch before the rest decided to go to Funan for shopping.

I asked those of my friends who had eaten (not all ate) if they liked the food and they all said yes. I went to the cashier to order a set of Puri and paid for it, took a number and went back to my seat. The Puri came with two curry condiments – chickpeas and potatoes. The puffed fried dough deflated instantly when I tore it open. They were delicious indeed. This is definitely a place to revisit. I hear their chicken masala and dosai (thosai) are fantastic! That said, I also heard that Kamala has become over priced since their renovation and many of their biryani fans have turned to the market, just round the corner, for their fix.

Puri - S$3.20 Puri (a.k.a. Poori or Boori) is commonly eaten as breakfast or as a light snack. It is also served at special functions or as part of ceremonial rituals along with other vegetarian food in prayer as prasadam. Puri means "filled" in Sankrit or "bread in Georgian. Puri is a wheat dough made of either atta (whole wheat flour), maida (refined wheat flour), or sooji (coarse wheat flour) and salt. The rolled disc is then deep-fried in ghee or vegetable oil. The steam during deep-frying puffs up the dough, hence its shape. Puri is often served with chutneys or some spicy accompaniments i.e. Chholey (spicy chick peas) which I had.

Puri – S$3.20
Puri (a.k.a. Poori or Boori) is commonly eaten as breakfast or as a light snack. It is also served at special functions or as part of ceremonial rituals along with other vegetarian food in prayer as prasadam.
Puri means “filled” in Sankrit or “bread in Georgian.
Puri is a wheat dough made of either atta (whole wheat flour), maida (refined wheat flour), or sooji (coarse wheat flour) and salt.
The rolled disc is then deep-fried in ghee or vegetable oil.
The steam during deep-frying puffs up the dough, hence its shape.
Puri is often served with chutneys or some spicy accompaniments i.e. Chholey (spicy chick peas) which I had.

Sri Kamala Vilas Restaurant
Address: #01-16, Block 662,
Buffalo Road, (next to the Tekka Market facing the main road junction)
Singapore 210662.

Tel:(+65) 6291 1164

Operating hours: Daily
7am – 9.30pm

Happy eating 😀

Whilst on the train to Funan, I was chatting with a new friend. The topic of street photography and how far one would go for a shot arose. I was relating to him a scenario where Marcus was in the middle of the road taking a quick snapshot when the traffic light turned red. I cited cautious drivers in Serangoon Road as one of the reasons for making it possible for Marcus to do so. Motorists usually slow down and pay more attention when driving along this stretch of Serangoon Road where periodically, jaywalkers attempt to dash across the road quite recklessly.

Marcus in the middle of the road with his lens near ground level.

Marcus in the middle of the road with his lens near ground level.

Many locals, Indian foreign workers and tourists visit Little India (especially on weekends) and they often cross the roads with little regard of the traffic rules. During these occasions, the responsibility of road safety falls mostly on the motorists. I told my new friend what Marcus had done in the photo above would not be possible in Orchard Road where I wanted to do some street photography of the Christmas lightings as the traffic (both humans and vehicles) is more coordinated and motorists do not necessarily give allowance for sudden movement or unexpected “fixture” on the road.

The group carried on to Bugis for sushi but I headed home to join my children as they were giving me a dinner treat. Later in the night, I was surfing my facebook homepage and was shocked to read this post “Singapore made history. Riot, fire, cars overturned in Little India. Is this our Singapore?”

Nothing of this sort has ever happened in the last 40 odd years and none of us could accept this state of affairs although this would be the 7th riot in our short history.

Summary: A private coach knocked down a Bangladeshi man (I think he passed away, not verifiable until the newspaper confirms it in the morning) in Serangoon Road, Little India, Singapore. Hundreds of avengers began to riot and the scene turned chaotic. Police confirmed a riot occurred at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road in Little India at 9.23pm Sunday, 8th December 2013. More than 2 busloads of police officers donned on their riot gear with shields and got ready to tackle the out-of-hand situation in Race Course Road. The condition escalated to uncontrollable when police cars were overturned and damaged. Two explosions heard: Preliminary reports from the ground claimed that one of the vehicles set on fire was an ambulance . The unruly mob also toppled a police car which was in front of an ambulance which was also set alight by the rioters. The public is advised to stay clear of the affected area while the police is dealing with the matter.

Click here to see CNA clip (Channel NewsAsia’s report).

The temple that was said to have been locked down and people being confined inside at 4.40 onwards of CNA’s clip was the very one I did a post on in October 22nd, 2013 – Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Click here to see post.

Click here to see Straits Times’ report.

There were at least two explosions at the scene involving these vehicles. Police have cordoned Race Course Road, as they try to contain the situation. A section of the shops along Buffalo Road have been ordered to shutter. – Straits Times (ST)

Buffalo Road… That’s where we had lunch. In ST’s report, the photographs showed uprooted dining tables along the street. My friends were lucky it rained or they would have lingered till late (I would have been gone for dinner by then).

Information credit on Puri – Wikipedia.

Information credit on the Riot: CNA, Temasek Review and YouTube.

The list of riots in Singapore is a list of riots which happened in Singapore.
December 11, 1950 – Maria Hertogh Riots
May 13, 1954 – 1954 – National Service Riots
May 12, 1955 – Hock Lee Bus Riots
1956 – Chinese Middle Schools Riots
July 21, 1964 – 1964 Race Riots
1969 – 1969 – Race Riots of Singapore
December 8, 2013 – 2013 – Little India Riots. – Info credit: Wikipedia

Please stay clear of the affected area for the next few days.

Prime Minister's FB Post

Many are debating and haters are stirring sh*t right now. If you read the threads of comments online, you’ll know what I mean.

When lives are loss, there’s no point in arguing who’s right or wrong. It won’t bring back the dead. But we can all take a lesson from this incident; learn to live in harmony and respect each other.

Respect ourselves.

This was a sobering night, indeed!

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Comments
10 Responses to “Breaking News – Riot In Little India Singapore!”
  1. renxkyoko says:

    Oh, my. If Singapore starts rioting, the world is in big trouble.

  2. Oh, my goodness, Sam. I am so sorry to hear this. Glad you are safe, but feel for those caught in the incident. Any idea yet why the riot began?

  3. Lignum Draco says:

    Glad you missed the action and are safe.

  4. wingedprisms says:

    So glad you are safe. 😀

  5. Laura Lynn says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this! But I am glad that you didn’t decide to stay in the area and were elsewhere. I hope they get to the bottom of the trouble and that the ones who started this are caught and punished. It’s terrible that they set ambulances on fire! They are the ones we turn to to help us. I am glad you are alright.

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Laura, agree with you that it was so silly of them to burn the very ambulance that was there to help the man under the bus. They burnt their own bridge and cut off help to those who needed it. People become blind when in rage. I hope we all learn from this lesson. Thank you for the comforting words. I felt a little distressed when watching and recalling the video but I also felt lucky I was out of that place in time.

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