An Indian national has been sentenced to 30-month imprisonment and three strokes of the cane for rioting and setting a bus on fire in Little India last year. Ramalingam Sakthivel is the first man to have pleaded guilty and sentenced for rioting, which was sparked by the death of an Indian in a bus accident in Little India — a precinct of Indian businesses, pubs and eateries.

Sakthivel, 33, had rallied other rioters around him on Race Course Road to flip over a police vehicle, according to a report by the Channel News Asia on Thursday.

Sakthivel, who worked in the construction sector here, had also repeatedly hit a Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance with a pole. He also tried to set a bus on fire.

The bus, meant to ferry foreign workers back to their dormitories from Little India that night, had knocked down another construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu.

Deputy Presiding Judge Jennifer Marie said Sakthivel was no meek follower and that he had rallied others to join in the mayhem that night. Sakthivel’s sentence would be backdated to December 8, the day he was remanded.