SINGAPORE — A group of five men armed with deadly weapons launched a brazen attack in broad daylight on an unsuspecting victim at a bus stop in Little India in July last year, a court heard.
As a result of the assault involving a samurai sword, a chopper and a baton, the 27-year-old victim had a partial amputation of his right foot.
At the State Courts on Friday (14 June), one of the assailants, Sharvin Raj Suraj, 18, pleaded guilty to one charge each of rioting with a deadly weapon, taking part in an unlawful assembly, and possession of a knife in public.
All the three charges relate to separate incidents between June last year and January this year.
Sharvin will be sentenced at a later date.
On 25 July last year, Sharvin was in a car with four others when one of the passengers spotted the victim, Dhines Selvarajah, 27, at a bus stop in Serangoon Road - outside Broadway Hotel and opposite Minora Centre - at about 2.15pm.
Dinesh Kumar Ruvy, 28, drove the car while the other passengers were Arjun Retnavelu, 24, Haresh Shanmuganathan, 23, and Victor Alexander Arumugam, 25.
“Arjun was on a look out for the victim as Arjun and the victim had had previous disputes, and Arjun wanted to take revenge against the victim,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Pavithra Ramkumar.
“The accused and other co-accused persons also had had previous disputes with the victim and wanted to attack him,” she added.
When Arjun saw Dhines, he told Dinesh to stop the car along the side of the road. The group then helped themselves to a box of weapons that Arjun had placed in the car boot.
Arjun allegedly armed himself with a chopper while Dinesh purportedly took a samurai sword. Sharvin armed himself with a baton. Haresh and Victor were unarmed, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Pavithra Ramkumar.
Haresh walked in front of the group. “Haresh confirmed the identity of the victim and signalled to the accused and co-accused persons to attack,” said DPP Pavithra.
“Arjun ran forward to the victim and started to slash him with the chopper. Dinesh then unsheathed the samurai sword and started slashing the victim with it. The accused (Sharvin) then hit the victim with the baton and Haresh joined in by throwing punches and kicks at the victim,” the DPP added.
When Arjun accidentally dropped the chopper, he allegedly took the baton from Sharvin and assaulted the victim with it. The assailants then fled to the car and Dinesh allegedly drove them away.
Arjun allegedly passed the samurai sword and the baton to a friend, Mathan Raj Kunasegaran, 25, in Yishun. The group later headed to the home of Arjun’s sister in Yishun before hiding at his cousin’s home in Sin Ming Industrial Estate.
Policemen arrested them at the home in Sin Ming the next day.
The victim underwent surgery and was hospitalised for a week. Two cuts on the back of his head and on his left upper back also had to be stitched up. He was given three months of hospitalisation leave.
On 2 January, while out on bail, Sharvin went for drinks at Nilaa Music Lounge pub in Dalhousie Lane in Little India with Arjun, Mathan, Viiknessh Koh, 22, Devaraj Raj, 25, and G Uthaya Kumar, 25.
At about 2.30am, Dinesh Muthu Chandra, 25, and his friend entered the pub.
“Upon seeing the victim (Dinesh), Arjun, who had a personal misunderstanding against the victim, asked him to step out of the pub and told him to fight with him to settle the misunderstanding,” said DPP Pavithra.
But Dinesh ran away from the pub.
Sharvin and his friends later left the pub after it closed, and Viiknessh offered to give them a lift home.
“Along the way, Arjun told the accused and co-accused persons about his misunderstanding with the victim and that he wanted to settle his misunderstanding with him earlier,” said DPP Pavithra.
As Viiknessh was driving along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, he saw Dinesh alighting from a taxi.
Uthaya, Arjun, Mathan, Devaraj and Sharvin alighted from the car and chased after Dinesh so that Arjun could have a “one-to-one fight”, the court heard.
But the group lost sight of Dinesh.
A resident called the police to inform them about the commotion and officers arrived soon after to conduct checks on the group.
A foldable knife and a knuckle duster were found inside the car.
Separately, on 3 June last year, Sharvin was also found at the coffee shop at Block 769 Yishun Avenue 3 with a 19cm long knife protruding from his pocket at about 7.30am.
Sharvin is set to be sentenced on July 5, pending reports on his suitability for probation and reformative training.
The maximum punishment for rioting with a weapon is up to 10 years’ jail, along with caning for male offenders below 50.
For being a member of an unlawful assembly, Sharvin faces up to two years’ jail along with a fine.
He could be jailed for up to two years for being armed with a knife in public.
Sharvin’s alleged accomplices in the assault - Dinesh Kumar Ruvy, Arjun, Haresh and Victor - have yet to be dealt with.
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