Batam, Riau Islands,(ANTARA News) - About 200 ethnic Indians have evacuated to Singapore following Thsursday`s riot which was fueled by a racist remark by an Indian worker at Drydocks World Graha, an Indian community leader said.
"I heard that about 200 Indians have left Batam for Singapore," Indian community leader in Batam Devarajan Prakash said after a meeting with local government officials here on Friday.
He said the number of ethnic Indians who had left for Singapore accounted for 40 percent of Indians staying in Batam. Ethnic Indians were scared to stay in Batam after the incident, Prakash said.
But he expressed confidence that all Indians who had left for Singapore would eventually return to Batam.
In the meantime, Deputy Reginal Police Chief for Riau Islands Sr Comr Bambang Budi Santoso gave the assurance that there would be no sweeping on ethnic Indians in
Batam following the rioting.
On Thursday, a total of 41 Indian workers of PT Drydock World Graha were evacuated through a special port as a result of the conflict between the management and workers following the racist remark.
The foreign workers were evacuated in a boat under heavy police guard. The riot was fueled by a remark by an Indian supervisor that insulted Indonesian workers.
"He said that Indonesians were `stupid`. This was an insult. and that is why we are all angry," Baim, one of the Indonesian workers, said.
During the riot, at least 20 cars were set on fire.(*)