Three Street Vendors Arrested over Lenggang Jakarta Riot

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta Police has apprehended three street vendors for their suspected role in the riots that caused the destruction of the Lenggang Jakarta management office at the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta. “As of now, they are being examined as witnesses,” said the Gambir Police Chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Susatyo Purnomo Chondro to Tempo on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

    The Head of Jakarta Police’s Public Relations Division, Sr. Comr. Muhammad Iqbal has said that Jakarta Police will get to the bottom of the incident, although he refused to comment on rumours that the incident was sparked by a conflict between Public Order Officers (Satpol PP) and scores of street vendors at the vicinity of  Monas. “We are currently investigating whether the incident is driven by the interests of certain groups of individuals,” he said.

    Iqbal said that once Jakarta Police finds evidence of involvement by certain groups, its’ members would not hesitate to arrest all persons involved, before adding that there are suspicions that there are other actors – other than street vendors – who were directly involved in the riots.

    Previously on Saturday evening, June 20, 2015, around 300 street vendors stormed through Monas’ Eastern Gate and went straight to the site where Lenggang Jakarta is location to protest – allegedly because they were not granted permission by Satpol PP to operate in the area.

    According to Susatyo, the riot began out of frustration because Satpol PP had cleared the area of illegal street vendors. “They aimed their activities at Lenggang Jakarta, because they were not given the permit to hawk their products there,” he said.

    Mia, Lenggang Jakarta’s security guard and a witness to the riot, said that the perpetrators wore helmets to shield their faces. “They stormed the management’s office, destroyed three televisions, CCTV camera, WIFI modem, as well as the toilet of the site,” she said.

    Lenggang Jakarta’s Manager, Marjali, said that the incident has caused at least Rp50 million in damages. “It is likely that the actual damages will cost more than that – and we are still deciding on whether we need to shut Lenggang Jakarta in the next day or so,” he said.

    Central Jakarta District Police Chief, Sr. Comr. Hendro Pandowo, said that his officials will officially take over the investigation. “We have commenced the investigation of the riot,” he said.

    DINI PRAMITA  | HUSSEIN ABRI YUSUF