The Jakarta Globe, January 23, 2013,
Ninety people have been detained in the Sumbawa district in West Nusa Tenggara after a riot broke out on Tuesday following the death of a woman on the weekend.
Hundreds of people went on a rampage on the Sumbawa island, vandalizing and setting buildings and cars alight. The mob also pelted Hindu temples in the area and looted shops.
National Police chief Timur Pradopo said the violence was prompted by rumors that a female student, from the Brang Rea village in the Moyo Hulu subdistrict, died after her boyfriend, a police officer from Bali, had allegedly raped her.
But Timur said it was a baseless rumor, confirming that the girl died in a traffic accident when she was a passenger on a motorcycle with the police officer on Saturday night. The officer and the victim, Arniati, were riding along the Sumbawa-Kanar highway when the motorcycle slipped and crashed on the road.
“I am asking that the public, especially in Sumbawa Besar, [to] not easily fall prey to rumors like that,” he said.
“As of 7:00 this morning, the latest update said that all public activities had resumed to normal,” Timur told journalists at the State Palace on Wednesday.
Timur said the 90 detainees were currently being questioned.
“Some engaged in vandalism, some in looting of shops. We are processing them according to the prevailing law,” Timur said.
The police officer, who was driving the motorcycle, was injured in the accident and remains in hospital.