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Man jailed for chanting secret society slogan during Thaipusam procession in Singapore, assaulting girlfriend

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M Shachdave Velu was jailed for eight weeks for assaulting his girlfriend and being a member of a secret society. — AFP pic
M Shachdave Velu was jailed for eight weeks for assaulting his girlfriend and being a member of a secret society. — AFP pic

SINGAPORE, Sept 12 — A 24-year-old man was sentenced to eight weeks’ jail on Thursday for slapping and kicking his girlfriend after a night of clubbing, and then separately chanting a secret society slogan during a Thaipusam procession.

M Shachdave Velu pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt, which was reduced from the more serious charge of causing grievous hurt, and one count of being a secret society member for four-and-a-half years.

The court heard that at the time of his offences, he would engage in odd jobs to earn a living.

On June 28, 2018, his girlfriend who was also in her 20s went to his flat to collect her personal belongings. The couple had a “tumultuous relationship”, Deputy Public Prosecutor Rashvinpal Kaur Dhaliwal said.

While at the flat, they drank alcohol before she accompanied Shachdave to meet his friends at a club near Little India. She then followed him to another club in Orchard Towers.

The next morning, she decided to go home but Shachdave asked her to drop him off at his flat as he was too intoxicated.

When they returned, they went into his bedroom. Shachdave then looked through her mobile phone, before abruptly starting to slap and kick her.

He eventually kicked her off the bed. She burst into tears and begged him to stop, but to no avail.

He stopped attacking her after a while and she returned to her own home later that day.

The next day, her parents took her to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital after noticing her injuries. These included bruising over her ears, an abrasion on her forehead and tenderness on her back.

She was given seven days of hospitalisation leave. When she was examined a month later, she was still experiencing pain on her right side.

On Jan 21 last year, Shachdave took part in a Thaipusam procession around Serangoon Road.

While drinking alcohol at 5pm, he started chanting a slogan from the Sio Gi Ho secret society.

Other individuals chanted slogans synonymous with the same gang as well as an associated gang, Sio Kun Tong. 

Police officers from the Secret Societies Branch arrested Shachdave and two others at about 9.40pm that day.

Investigations revealed that he had been a gang member since August 2014.

In mitigation, Shachdave’s lawyer, Mr Kalidass Murugaiyan, said that he had “explored the potential” of community-based sentences with his client but was rejected.

“Shachdave said he takes full responsibility for causing hurt to his girlfriend and behaving so irresponsibly during Thaipusam He’s moved on and is doing quite well with his work,” the lawyer added.

In sentencing, District Judge Luke Tan said it was “particularly troubling” that Shachdave had chanted slogans when members from at least one other gang were present. He had also assaulted his girlfriend in a prolonged manner, the judge added.

For causing hurt, Shachdave could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000 or both. — TODAY

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