Hard-liners face ‘stern action’ on Ramadhan raids
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The police in Bantul, Yogyakarta, have announced that they will take stern actions against hard-line groups conducting raids on perceived community ills such as alcoholic consumption and prostitution during the upcoming fasting month of Ramadhan.
“The authority [to conduct raids]is in the hands of the police. We will act decisively against any hard-line groups conducting such raids,” Bantul Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Dewi Hartati said on Wednesday.
Dewi said that to help create comfort during the fasting month, the police would persuasively ask communities, especially hard-line groups to cooperate.
She said the people and mass organizations were welcomed to observe and inform the police places where alcoholic drinks had been distributed or prostitutions had been committed during Ramadhan.
“But they are only welcomed to give us information. It’s the police that will do the arresting,” Dewi said.
Dewi also said that ahead of Ramadhan, the Bantul Police had been routinely conducting meetings with the community and mass organizations as part of creating conducive conditions during the fasting month.
“We prioritize persuasive measures but we will take stern action against anyone who takes the law into their own hands,” she said.
She added that she had a list of entertainment spots including kiosks selling alcohol or karaoke counters.
Meanwhile, head of the Yogyakarta Police’s public relations and information division, Adj. Sr. Comr. Anny Pudjiastuti, said that in a bid to maintain order and security during Ramadhan, the police had been preparing for so-called community ills raids.
“We are still discussing when to conduct them but they will be conducted in the near future,” Anny said.
She added the police had also been readying themselves for larger participation by encouraging the public to report to the police if they found so-called community ills being committed, such as gambling, the distribution of alcohol and prostitution.
“We will also have Operation Ketupat seven days prior to and after Idul Fitri,” said Anny, referring to the celebration that marks the end of Ramadhan fasting month.
Separately, the Yogyakarta municipal administration is to apply regulation No 36/2011 on entertainment spots during Ramadhan.
The head of the Yogyakarta Tourism Agency’s supervision division, Tri Mulatsih, said that the regulation, among other things, regulated operating hours or the banning of entertainment spots during Ramadhan.
Karaoke counters offering open rooms, for example, are allowed to operate from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. while spots offering commercial sex services or serving alcoholic drinks are banned from operating during the fasting month.
The municipal administration said it would take stern actions against entertainment spots violating the regulation.