Police tell city to destroy mass organization posts
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The Jakarta Police want the city administration to tear down the ubiquitous guard posts built by mass organizations in local neighborhoods to remove a frequent source of gang violence.
Gangs have been too quick to attack or defend the posts, which often fly organization flags that provide a locus for violence, spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
“The city government should control mass organizations and limit the number of their guard posts to prevent more conflict,” he said.
Rikwanto said that the government should tear down any post built without a permit.
The huge number of illegal posts, according to Rikwanto, has made it difficult for police officers to prevent gang brawls, as happened twice last week.
In the first incident, one man was killed when young men from two rival mass organizations, the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR) and Pemuda Pancasila (PP), fought in the street in Pondok Aren, Tangerang, on June 27. The violence started when 50 unidentified motorcyclists approached one of the FBR’s guard posts.
In the second incident on Sunday, 50 FBR members attacked a PP guard post in Cengkareng, West Jakarta. Two PP members fled, while a third was injured. The violence was apparently done in retaliation for an FBR flag pulled down by a PP member.
“The operations of those guard posts are problematic. The local government therefore should reduce their number before more conflicts happen,” Rikwanto said.
He added mass organization leaders should prevent their members from getting involved in conflicts, by, among other things, upholding the recent police-brokered truce between the FBR, the PP, the Pemuda Panca Marga (PPM), the Betawi People’s Forum (Forkabi) and the Badan Pembina Provinsi Keluarga Banten (BPPKB).
“Police have taken necessary measures to handle the conflict. Now it depends on the leaders to walk the talk,” Rikwanto said.
The police had increased patrols in areas where gangs have clashed, breaking up violence as it occurred and detaining perpetrators and had also initiated monthly discussions between the mass organizations, Rikwanto said.
“Now it is up to the leaders to make the pact effective to prevent more brawls. People cannot always blame the police,” he said. (aml)