Current Affairs

Construction worker who slashed roommate sentenced to jail, caning


SINGAPORE: A 20-year-old foreign worker was on Wednesday (Dec 6) sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ jail and six strokes of the cane for a “vicious” attack on his dormitory roommate using a chopper, seriously wounding him.

Arunachalam Manikandan, an Indian national, slashed Ganesan Arunprakash, 21, on his neck and chest several times after a verbal dispute. Both were construction workers living at Sungei Tengah Lodge along Old Choa Chu Kang Road.

According to court documents, Arunachalam was drunk when he returned to his dormitory at around midnight on Mar 21 this year. Mr Ganesan saw him vomiting on the floor and told him to clean up the mess. Arunachalam refused to do so and the two argued.  

Hearing the commotion, their supervisor intervened and told Arunachalam to clean up. He ordered them to lower their volume, before turning off the lights and leaving the room. Still, Arunchalam refused and used his bedsheets to cover the mess instead. 

Court documents stated that Arunachalam then took the time to “reflect” over Mr Ganesan’s earlier behaviour. He perceived his roommate, with whom he was said to have had disagreements, to have “bossed him around in front of everyone”. 

Arunachalam became furious. He armed himself with a 30cm-long chopper, which he kept in the room with other kitchen utensils. 

He then approached the victim, who was lying in his bed, aimed for his neck in the dark and “began slashing and chopping him continuously”. 

Bleeding, Mr Ganesan shouted in pain, alerting other roommates who rushed to his aid and disarmed Arunachalam.

Mr Ganesan was treated at the National University Hospital. The prosecution said his injuries were potentially life threatening, as one of the slash wounds – 11cm long and 2cm deep – was near the windpipe.

Prosecutors called for a sentence of at least four years’ jail and six strokes of the cane as Arunachalam had caused “a high degree of harm” in an attack that was “vicious and reprehensible”.

Anyone convicted of voluntarily causing grievous hurt could face a life sentence with a fine or caning.

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