Indians Abroad

Two Indian men charged with violating COVID rules in Singapore

Two of the defendants are planning to hire a lawyer and are due to appear in court on March 15.


Two men of Indian origin, among a group of six, were indicted by a Singapore court on Tuesday for breaching coronavirus safety regulations during a New Year’s Eve gathering, in which hundreds of people participated, according to a media report.

The Straits Times reports that Atish Ashutosh Rao and Shyama Kumar Charath face two charges in court – failing to maintain a safe distance and not wearing a mask properly.

The ages of the six accused ranged between 19 and 23 years old. They face charges ranging from having groups of more than five people, to not maintaining the required one-meter social distance at a New Year’s Eve gathering on Clarke Quay, a row of riverside restaurants, pubs and bars here.

Sharath and Rao intend to plead guilty. They are scheduled to appear in court on April 5.

Two of the defendants are planning to hire a lawyer and are due to appear in court on March 15.

The New Year’s Eve gathering is believed to have involved hundreds in a countdown party in front of Riverside Point.

Online videos show a raucous crowd cheering, singing and celebrating in what authorities have described as a flagrant violation of COVID-19 safe management rules and a potential super event.

Three other men of Indian descent, Harjaz Singh, Verma Pulkit and Kotra Venkata Sai Rohankrishna – aged 19 to 22 – were made similar charges in January in connection with the New Year’s Eve gathering.

Kotra faced an extra charge for allegedly attending a gathering in a Spider-Man costume with three others, where he interacted with about 20 people.

Earlier this month, Verma and Singh were sent to court to face the additional charge of attending the meeting for a common purpose without reasonable excuse.

Verma is alleged to have attended a gathering with eight others to celebrate the New Year, while Singh is accused of attending a gathering of at least six others.

Those found guilty of breaching COVID-19 regulations can be fined up to S$10,000 (US$7372) or jailed for up to six months, or both.

The coronavirus has claimed 1,019 lives and infected 724,424 people so far in Singapore. On Monday, the city state reported 13,544 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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