The police were accused of "poor judgment" yesterday, with the Committee of Inquiry (COI) saying the Little India rioters "had full freedom to do what they wanted". Committee chairman G. Pannir Selvam told Deputy Commissioner of Police T. Raja Kumar - the Acting Commissioner on Dec8 - that police strategy, coordination and action that night had been found wanting.A decision was made by Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) Lu Yeow Lim, commander of Tanglin Police Division, for officers stationed at roads around the scene to "hold the ground" and contain the rioters until Special Operations Command (SOC) troops arrived.
But Mr Selvam said this gave the mob "a good protected area" where they could destroy government property with impunity. The former Supreme Court judge also pointed out that there were over 100 police officers along Race Course Road that night and only about 25 active rioters.
Deputy Commissioner of Police T. Raja Kumar admitted the force had learnt lessons from the riot in Little India.
Mr Raja Kumar explained that it was "a matter of judgment" by ground DAC Lu, who had decided there were not enough officers at that point to "dominate the ground".But the retired judge hit back: "It was poor judgment."Full story