The recent case involving the suicide of the police sergeant Uvaraja Gopal has taken Singapore by storm, after a Facebook post by the deceased officer accusing the police force of workplace discrimination went viral.
His post and the gravity of his accusations prompted a review by the Singapore Police Force SPF), and they released a statement this afternoon (24 July) responding to his allegations.
Allegations of Racial Discrimination by Uvaraja Gopal Unsubstantiated
In a post made on Facebook before his suicide, Sergeant Uvaraja Gopal, 36, alleged that he had faced racial discrimination, bullying, and workplace toxicity during his time as an officer in the SPF.
However, the SPF refuted his claims in a statement made today—according to them, his claims of racial discrimination were unsubstantiated.
In case you’re not up to speed, Sgt Uvaraja was an officer at Ang Mo Kio police division prior to his death by suicide. You can read more about it here.
Before he died, he posted a harrowing post on Facebook that quickly ran viral, detailing his misery while working in the police force.
He was found motionless at the foot of Block 393 Yishun Avenue on Friday last week (21 July), and passed away after being taken to the hospital.
His original Facebook post is no longer available, but screenshots of it were uploaded on the same platform by another user. You can take a look here:
His post contained scathing remarks and accusations against his colleagues and superiors, and he detailed the “toxic” experiences and racial discrimination that he allegedly faced at work.
The SPF’s statement, though, said that these claims were untrue, and brought to light another side of the story.
Given Assistance and Extended Leave
According to the SPF, Sgt Uvaraja had been given extra leave since 2015, despite him claiming otherwise—his post claimed that a superior had gone as far as shredding his leave forms and leave records.
They revealed that he had been at work for fewer than 30 days in 2022, and fewer than 25 days in 2023.
In 2022, he was on a few different types of leave, like extended sick leave, unrecorded leave and no-pay leave.
Sgt Uvaraja’s posts also touched on issues with his health; the SPF claimed that he was offered counselling and assistance at junctures of his career, starting from 2016.
This year, he began to exhibit signs of emotional instability, and was referred to both a para-counsellor and a psychologist.
Regarding his allegations against his supervisors, the SPF found that both his colleagues and superiors had attempted to offer him assistance, including coaching him when his performance fell short, and approving transfers upon request.
Despite his claims that his transfer requests were never approved, the SPF said that in a period of nine years, Sgt Uvaraja had been transferred to six different units.
On February 16, Sgt Uvaraja was also relieved from carrying firearms due to his mental state.
No Evidence Of Colleagues’ Misconduct
Sgt Uvaraja claimed that in 2021, he “discovered officers blatantly smoking vapes”, or e-cigarettes, in the office area.
In case you’re unaware, vaping is illegal in Singapore, despite its seemingly rising prevalence in recent years.
His post claimed that when he reported this to his supervisors, the matter was instead covered up, and he was “hated for doing the right [thing]”.
In their statement, the SPF said that his reports were indeed investigated, but no evidence of misconduct was found, and the officers thus did not face disciplinary action.
They also revealed that he had reported his fellow officers smoking in a separate case in 2023; this was found to be true, and appropriate disciplinary action was then taken.
After both these incidents, Sgt Uvaraja requested transfers to different units due to his discomfort stemming from working with people that he had reported. Both these requests were approved.
Tensions With His Family
SPF’s statement also disclosed that Sgt Uvaraja was experiencing tensions with his family, near the time of his death.
His Facebook post seemingly corroborated this—he mentioned that he had experienced a big “betrayal” by his family members just a few days prior to his death.
According to the SPF, Sgt Uvaraja’s family members had filed police reports and called the police on him on multiple occasions, due to concerns over their safety.
Apparently, he was involved in disputes with his family over financial matters.
On 13 July, the police received numerous calls for assistance from his parents’ home, and witnessed him having a dispute with them when they arrived.
Allegedly, he had also assaulted his brother, and there was a pending investigation against him pertaining to this matter. His Facebook post also mentioned that his brother was “directly responsible” for the “betrayal”.
A day after the dispute at his parents’ house, his mother lodged a police report against him, fearing for her safety.
The same day, his sister-in-law also called the police on him and claimed he was waiting outside her house, but he was no longer there when police arrived.
Currently, the findings from the investigation will be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, as well as the newly (albeit controversially) exonerated Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam.
These findings will be reviewed, and further investigation will be conducted if they deem it necessary.
Really, recent news has shown us that things are rarely as they seem.
Fresh grads, you don’t need any experience to earn up to $4,200 with this “secret”:
- Revisiting the Cat Ban in Singapore: Why Some of the HDB Reasons to Ban Cats Don’t Make Sense
- Why People Are Talking About a Woodlands Void Deck That’s Been “Sealed Off”
- 34YO Woman & 3-Week-Old Infant Found Dead at Foot of Ghim Moh HDB Flat; Second Such Incident in a Month
- Popular Tian Tian Lai Nasi Lemak Has Closed Down After 22 Years
- 10 Places to Experience Snow This Christmas in Singapore
- Police Investigating “Man in Woman’s Dress” Who Force Opens MRT Train Door & Lies At Station
- In 2024, HDB Households Might Finally be Able to Keep Up to 2 Cats Per Flat