TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Police suspect that the death of three Papuan students during a demonstration that ended in riots in Jayapura, was caused by rubber bullets. The police will conduct an autopsy first to see if their suspicion is right.
"The temporary assumption is because of rubber bullets," Police Headquarters spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said on Tuesday, September 24. "But we have to do an autopsy first".
The demonstration that lead to riots in Jayapura on September 23 ended with the death of three students.
Dedi said the incident began when protesters walked out of class to build a shelter post at Cendrawasih University for students returning to Papua.
According to the police, this was not allowed by the rector and other students of the University, because the activity was considered disturbing the learning process. The rector then called the police to break out the protesters.
"The rector directly contacted the Papua Regional Police Chief, who immediately sent troops to negotiate," Dedi said.
The students agreed to leave the campus area and return to the Waena Expo Cultural Park, Jayapura riding the TNI-Polri trucks.
The police said that throughout the ride everything went well, but once they arrived at the park, students began attacking the officers who drive them. One TNI member was killed by a machete slash to the head.
Seeing the chaotic situation, officers immediately opened fire, which Dedi said was in accordance with regulations to "paralyze students who are very anarchist," Dedi said.
As a result, three people presumed to have been students died, while 20 others were injured.