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 Police Arrest Dozens, Seize Weapons After Fatal Clash in Medan

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BerichtOnderwerp: Police Arrest Dozens, Seize Weapons After Fatal Clash in Medan    zo 31 jan 2016 - 18:38





The Jakarta Globe, 30 Jan 2016


Medan, North Sumatera. Police in Medan, North Sumatra, arrested dozens of members of youth group Pemuda Pancasila after a clash with another organization in the city left two people dead and four others injured.

About 160 members of an organization called Working Youth Alliance (IPK), driving ten cars and 60 motorcycles, had been cruising around the provincial capital's main streets since 3:15 p.m. on Saturday (30/1). When the group passed Jalan Thamrin, which is near the headquarters of their rivals, Pemuda Pancasila, a clash ensued.

Chairman of the IPK's East Medan chapter, Monang Hutabarat, was among the two people killed in the incident. Another dead victim, identified as Sepri, was also a member of the IPK as were the four injured. The victims were slashed and assaulted with machetes and knives by members of the PP, which has also been linked with countless cases of violence across the country.

Medan Police chief Sr. Comr. Mardiaz Khusin Dwihananto said on Sunday that dozens of PP members had been arrested but police are still investigating their exact roles in the clash. Police have so far charged them with illegal possession of sharp weapons, which include dozens of machetes, sickles and poisoned arrowheads.

“We have arrested and transported them to the [police] headquarter,” he said.

PP North Sumatra chairman Kodrat Shah said his group will not intervene in the ongoing police investigation against members of the organization.

“I also ask all members of the PP to restrain themselves [from attacking IPK members]. Don't get provoked and do inappropriate things. Let the police handle this case,” he said.

Kodrat said his group was the real victim in the case, saying IPK members had set fire to the PP building with the use of Molotov cocktails and PP members were simply retaliating for the assault.

Indonesia Police Watch said police should have done more to prevent the clash by providing police escort for the IPK convoy. The watchdog also said that police's reaction to the ensuing chaos had been slow, with senior officers only heading to the scene once the situation worsened.

“IPW deems that the chaos happened because the police left the IPK convoy unsupervised,'" IPW chairman Neta Pane said on Sunday in Jakarta. "Everyone in North Sumatra knows that PP and IPK have been sworn enemies for a long time. Why did the Medan Police and the North Sumatra Police chief allow the convoy [to drive around] without proper protection?

“Since the Medan Police chief and the North Sumatra Police chief could not control the situation, the National Police chief [Gen. Badrodin Haiti] must replace both with other officers who can keep Medan peaceful and safe.”

Since Saturday night, a joint force of 1,500 officers from the National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) has been deployed to various areas in Medan to prevent further clashes.

However, despite the heavy security presence, Medan citizens remained scared, keeping shops and houses closed.



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