Singapore — The police said yesterday (Dec 25) that a 32-year-old Indian national is under investigation for taking part in a public assembly at Marina Bay in protest against India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
According to TODAY, the police had received a report about the matter on Tuesday (Dec 24). The police said in a statement that the man allegedly carried out the activity in Marina Bay to show his opposition to the Indian law.
The individual reportedly put up a picture of himself bearing a placard expressing his dissatisfaction with the Act on a social media account. The report added that it is possible that more than one person could be investigated concerning the matter.
The photo in question has since been taken down, TODAY adds.
The man’s residence status in the country and his line of work have not been disclosed.
The police statement reminded the public that the organisation of and participation in public assemblies that have not obtained a police permit are against the law under the Public Order Act.
It added: “The police will not grant any permit for assemblies that advocate political causes of other countries. Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore should abide by our laws.”
Protests have erupted in India over the past weeks concerning the citizenship law, which offers amnesty to illegal immigrants who are not Muslims coming from three of the countries that border India — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
However, many are unhappy with it, as they claim that it is against the country’s secular constitution. Furthermore, they interpret it as an effort led by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, to make India more Hindu-centric, but would be to the detriment of the country’s estimated 200 million Muslims.
The Indian national is not the first foreigner to be investigated in recent months for participation in a public assembly.
Mr Alex Yeung, a restaurant owner who held a gathering in October to discuss the situation in his native Hong Kong, was repatriated last month and will not be permitted to return to Singapore without prior permission from the Controller of Immigration.
In a Facebook post on Nov 7, the police said they were alerted to an incident involving Mr Yeung, “who allegedly organised a gathering for interested persons to share their views on the current protests in Hong Kong”.
Mr Yeung’s passport was impounded during the time he assisted with investigations. The police clarified that he was “neither arrested nor in police custody, and is free to go about his activities within Singapore”.
The passport was returned to Mr Yeung on Nov 20, following which he left for Hong Kong. -/TISG