TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Rioters comprising of local youths of Kampung Bali in Central Jakarta’s Tanah Abang area showed remorse after a police report revealed that the initial group of rioters causing havoc on May 22 were funded.
“Man, I regret [participating in the riot]. Turns out the riot were funded,” said a teen rioter who lives in Kampung Bali on Sunday, May 26. He requested to remain anonymous for safety reasons.
Tempo’s source initially thought that the riot in front of the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu), now famously dubbed as the May 22 riots, was a usual dispute between residents which he says is not unusual during sahoor in the Ramadan month.
He says that he was moved to join the frontline rioters because of adrenaline.
“Because it’s been some time since there was a riot, we participated in that one because we thought it was just another customary riot,” said the teen with a distinct local Betawi accent.
The teen retold his role in the riot was to supply rocks for rioters to throw at police personnel standing guard in front of the Bawaslu headquarters. He also supplied toothpaste to counter police’s teargases.
“But we didn’t last until morning,” he said.
At around 06:00 in the morning, he was awakened by the cries for help from his friend Lubis who was receiving a beating from Mobile Brigade Police (Brimob) personnel at a parking lot near Kampung Bali’s Mosque.
He recalled that the Brimob squad quickly surrounded the area and beat him and his friends, Markus and Andri, who became Brimob’s easy target which was followed by his friends being dragged away and detained by authorities.
“I was immediately beaten,” he said. This is the incident that was recorded by a bystander which eventually went viral throughout social media. The unnamed teen said that he has yet received news from his friends that were apprehended by the police.
The Metro Jaya Police spokesman Grand Commissioner Argo Yuwono on Wednesday, May 22, announced that police have pieces of evidence to prove that the May 22 riots were funded. He claims they have recordings of conversations and the number of money found scattered in a number of places at the crime scene.
“We have the recording showing the funder handing money to the masses who received it,” said Argo on May 22.