Singapore, Apr 28 (PTI) Two Indian-origin youths accused of slashing two men at a car-park in Singapore on April 6 during a wedding are now accused of being members of a secret society and face tougher laws, the media reported on Thursday.
Muhammad Sajid Saleem, 20, is accused of being a member of the group between July 2020 and April this year, while another youth aged 19 is said to be part of the group between 2016 and April this year, The Straits Times newspaper reported.
He was only 14 years old in 2016 and cannot be identified by name as those accused of committing offences before they turn 18 are covered under the Children and Young Persons Act. The pair now face four charges each.
Each of them was on Monday handed over two charges under the Societies Act.
Earlier this month, the duo was charged with two counts of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with weapons.
According to court documents, the two were in a car-park near Block 175 of Boon Lay Drive at around 5pm on April 6 when they allegedly used bread knives to attack Praveen Raj Chanthiran and Sarakumar.
The documents did not disclose victims' ages but the police said in an earlier statement that the youths had allegedly attacked two men, aged 22 and 23, the report said.
In an earlier proceeding, the court heard that one of the victims suffered 20 cuts.
On the day of the incident, police received multiple calls for assistance over the attack in Boon Lay Drive that had disrupted a wedding ritual.
The bride, Yuroshini Josephine, 25, and her groom, Emmanuel Ravi, 26, were in the midst of their wedding ritual at home when the groom received a call that his friends, who had attended the wedding, had been attacked.
Emmanuel had said then that the victims were close family friends, and added that he knew one of the alleged attackers, according to The Straits Times report.
On Thursday, the alleged offenders were each offered bail of SGD40,000. Each youth was initially offered bail of SGD30,000.
After they were charged on Monday with offences under the Societies Act, the prosecution asked for their bails to be revoked.
Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren said the evidence showed "the earlier offence had secret society undertones. There is a real possibility of further violence if the accused persons are released".
Both youths are represented by lawyer Vadi PVSS who urged the court to grant bail to them.
The lawyer added that it was just "bare assertion for the prosecution to say 'the evidence shows that the earlier offence (of voluntarily causing grievous hurt) had secret society undertones' when none was provided in the court".
"In effect, the (youths) instructed that there (aren't) any secret society undertones to the slashing incident for which (they stand) charged (with the two assault) charges. It was a personal matter that went out of hand," Vadi PVSS added.
After hearing both sides, the court decided to grant the pair bail, albeit in higher amounts.
The case involving the two youths has been adjourned till May 26.
For each count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with weapons, an offender can be jailed for up to 15 years and fined or caned.
For each charge under the Societies Act, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to SGD5,000.
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