May 22 Rally, Police Blame Outsiders as Riot Inciters

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian National Police secured more than 20 people from the May 22 rally that unfortunately ended in a hard clash between police personnel and the protesters.

    “[The apprehended people] are believed to be the inciters of the riot that sparked in front of the Bawaslu (Elections Supervisory Board) headquarters on May 21, 2019,” said Brig. General Dedi Prasetyo, Police Public Relations Officer.

    Dedi revealed that police already obtained the identities of the provocateurs of the initial clash.

    “Polri identified that the suspects provoking the clash are firstly non-Jakarta residents,” he asserts. “We reminded that there will be a third-party that will use the mass-rally [for their benefit] and this is why the public should not be provoked.”

    Responding to allegations of people getting shot, Dedi maintains that police personnel is not armed with live bullets upon securing the May 22 rally.

    Read: Andi Arief Urges Jokowi, Prabowo to Meet to 'Cool Things Down'  

    As of the chronology of the clash sparked in front of the Bawaslu headquarters in the early dawn of Wednesday, Dedi said it had actually started as a peaceful protest and was within the order which is evident by police discretion in giving extra time for the protesters to gather until late into the night.

     “We gave extra time for them to break their fast, conduct night prayers and Tarawih. Our own personnel had joined them in the prayers. After that they were reminded by the police chief to disperse,” said Dedi.

    After the May 22 protesters completely dispersed at 21:00 Western Indonesia Time (WIB), suddenly a mob emerged in front of the Bawaslu office and damaged the barbed wires set by the police.

    The mob that was beaten back away from the Bawaslu headquarters have gone to Tanah Abang where they burned multiple tires. A mob had also burned a number of vehicles in front of the police dormitory at Petamburan, Jakarta, on 01:30 a.m.

    ANDITA RAHMA |ANTARA