Did earlier fight trigger attacks?
Residents saw youths beating up a teen four hours before rampage
By Jalelah Abu Baker & Kimberly Spykerman
BEFORE the slashing of seven young men in Bukit Panjang on Monday, another fight had broken out in the area earlier that evening, The Straits Times found out yesterday.
Residents there said that at about 6pm, a group of young men was seen chasing a tanned-skin teenager while taunting him to fight back. They caught up with him, then kicked and punched him.
[Transl. "Tanned-skinned" = Malay. The newspaper try not to instigate racial ill-feelings.]
The attack near a Chinese temple was witnessed by residents, some from the corridors outside their flats.
Seeing the commotion, a resident called out 'police' to scare off the attackers.
One of the attackers then wrapped a knife he was wielding in plastic and stuffed it in his pocket before fleeing with the rest, said a resident. The teen who was attacked ran away, and it is not known what happened to him.
'I was on my way home with my children when I saw them beating up the teen. We shouted because we didn't want the boy to be injured,' said a 46-year-old housewife who did not want to be named.
Four hours later, at about 10pm, a different group of parang-wielding men was behind two separate incidents in the area.
This group of tanned-skin assailants first attacked a 20-year-old youth who was walking along a jogging track near Block 418, Fajar Road. He suffered injuries to his leg and back.
[The victim was Indian.]
Minutes later, the same group headed to nearby Block 505, Jelapang Road, and assaulted six youths who were playing football at a basketball court. Five of them were taken to hospital.
Each time, the gang called out gang slogans before fleeing the scene.
Six youths were arrested yesterday over the Fajar Road and Jelapang Road attacks.
A teenager who frequents the basketball court where the incident happened told The Straits Times that the Jelapang Road attack could have been in retaliation for the beating of the teen at 6pm.
In fact, he said there had been several fights in the area since last week, and that 'the boy's gang must be taking revenge'.
He would disclose only that some of his friends were directly involved.
It is believed that the area is dominated by one gang, and that 'outsiders' had attacked a member of that gang, resulting in counter-attacks.