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Indian IT manager jailed for molestation on Singapore train

Rajagopala Soundararaja Panneer Selvan has been jailed for nine weeks.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2017 23:12 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Singapore
(Getty Images)

An Indian IT manager in Singapore was on Thursday jailed for nine weeks for molesting a woman on a crowded metro train in Singapore.

Rajagopala Soundararaja Panneer Selvan, 46, who could have been jailed for up to two years along with a fine and caning, admitted to molesting the 28-year-old woman in a coach of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) while travelling on the East-West Line between in March.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ng Yiwen told the court that as was the victim’s usual practice, she boarded the second last cabin of the train at Kembangan MRT station, in a suburb housing estate on March 16.

While the train was travelling between Paya Lebar and Aljunied stations towards the central business district, she felt something hard pressing against her body, the DPP said.

Assuming that someone had accidentally knocked into her, so moved away, The Straits Times reported.

Shortly after, the same thing happened again. This time, she turned around and saw an Indian man standing behind her. She later identified him as Rajagopala.

The victim decided to give him some space and moved away again, but she noticed that he continued to follow her. She again felt something hard pressing against her body.

She turned around and saw him pressing his body against her and felt that her modesty had been outraged. She stared at him, but he ignored her.

The victim then used her laptop bag to cover her body as she was afraid that he would persist with his actions, the DPP said.

When the train arrived at City Hall MRT station in the Central Business District (CBD), he alighted and moved to the opposite platform. The victim continued on her journey to Tanjong Pagar, another CBD stopover.

She made a police complaint as she wanted to stop Rajagopala from molesting other women.

Police tracked him down and Rajagopala was arrested on April 18. He admitted to the offence.

A second charge of touching a woman inside an MRT train in January was also taken into consideration.

In his mitigation plea, lawyer Ravinderpal Singh said his client realised his actions were wrong and had caused emotional and psychological harm to the victims involved.

He said his client suffers from a sleep disorder that affects the amount of rest he gets and his ability to focus at work. This had caused him considerable stress from time to time.

The DPP had asked for at least six weeks’ jail, saying the offence was committed on a public transport on an office commuter.

A deterrent sentence was necessary to discourage would-be offenders from committing such offences, he said.

District Judge Samuel Chua backdated the accused’s sentence to July 13.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 23:12 IST