TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National Police suspected the mass riot in Manokwari, West Papua, that broke out today, August 19, is allegedly triggered by provocation on social media regarding the raid in a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya.
“They are provoked by contents circulated on social media platforms about the incident in Surabaya,” said Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo in his office, Jakarta, Monday, August 19.
Previous reports suggested there was a raid on the Independence Day, August 17, in Papuan student dormitory on Jalan Kalasan No. 10, Pacar Keling, Surabaya, East Java by the Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel, which was followed by a blockade initiated by Public Order Agency and an organization. A total of 43 students were taken to Surabaya Resort Police.
The raid was allegedly caused by a misunderstanding after Indonesian flag belonged to the regional administration fell in front of the dormitory.
Dedi claimed that the incident has actually been settled now. However, the spread of false information on social media has angered the public in the region.
This morning, a group of masses from elements of students and community staged a peaceful protest, yet it turned out into a riot. "There have been roadblocks with burning tires and so on," he said.
The DPRD building and the former Papua Governor's office were also burnt by the mobs along with several public facilities.
Dedi said the police were currently tracing the owner of a social media account distributing the hoax. "Manokwari is in a very conducive situation, so do not be provoked by those who deliberately want to disrupt the situation," he underlined.
M ROSSENO AJI