Singapore: Singapore on Friday started deporting 52 Indian nationals for their role in the December 8 riot, the city state's worst street violence in 40 years.
Sixteen of the men were interviewed by the state-appointed Committee of Enquiry (COI) into the riot in the Little India area, a report Straits Times said.
The riot was sparked by a fatal accident involving an Indian national.
The 53 had allegedly obstructed the police or failed to obey police order to disperse during the riot, in which 39 Home Team officers, including policemen were injured and 25 police and Singapore Civil Defence Force vehicles damaged.
They were deemed to have posed a threat to the safety and security of Singapore, conditions that allows the authorities to deport them from entering the country again under the laws such as Immigration Act.
Twenty-eight Indian nationals were arraigned on riot charges and would have their cases heard in court on Monday.
Meanwhile, police have warned 200 other South Asian workers who were at the scene of riot. Police have issued advisories to the 200 to obey the law and would be allowed to remain in Singapore and work.
Foreign minister K Shanmugam has stressed that the repatriation of the 53 became judicial rather than administrative matter.
Under the Immigration Act, the government could ask an individual to leave once it has been determined that he acted contrary to Singapore's interests or acted in a manner prejudicial to public security or safety, stressed Shanmugam.
Earlier this week, a civil group had questioned the "arbitrary deportation" of these people, citing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants.
The repatriation is done in groups. A Bangladesh national was also being deported.
Some 400 South Asian workers rioted when the 33-year old Indian National, Sakthivel Kumaravalu, was killed in the accident with a bus on the night of December 8.