As the annual Thaipusam season falls on Singapore, the streets of town are alive with the hustle and bustle of Hindus across the nation witnessing the procession of devotees carrying their ornate, colorful kavadis through Serangoon Road, Orchard Road before their final stop at Sri Thandayuthapani Road.
During hectic times such as these, it is inevitable that tempers flare up, and this year’s procession was no different.
In a video posted on The Alternative View Facebook page, Shiva Shanker documents footage of Thaipusam revellers getting into a right scuffle with the authorities. According to a witness, the incident started when the police confronted a group of people who were playing on the urumee — which breached the ban on musical instruments during the event.
Allegedly, a group of 15 policemen were involved in the confrontation and used abusive language during the ordeal. The situation was not aided by the fact that one of the officers allegedly roughly handled a woman’s neck. Officers immediately formed a human cordon around the place.
Another video uploaded by Mickey Vikieboy shows another angle of the altercation, as things heat up when members of the public got hurt during the scuffle with the police and security officers.
Netizens expressed their horror over the unwarranted police brutality and remarked on the preposterous restrictions that has sucked out the vibrance and excitement out of the once-captivating Thaipusam celebrations. Many called out for Hindu’s rights to culture and open celebration, which has been severely suppressed following the riots in Little India.
The Singapore Police Force has not commented on the incident.
Photo: William Cho via Flickr