A 35-year old man, Mintoro, was misidentified as a drug suspect and severely beaten at his house in Selosari village, Kediri in East Java, by officers from the Kediri Police, causing him to miss a mass-led prayer ceremony on Sunday.
Four officers in plain clothes went to Mintoro’s house at 4:25 a.m., broke in and forced him to confess to being involved in drug case, then harshly beating him.
“They beat and stepped on me. I was even thrown. I lost two of my teeth due to their actions,” Mintoro said, adding that he sustained injuries to his right temple and bruises on his chest and stomach.
During the incident, Mintoro said the officers called him “Keceng”.
“I told them that Keceng was my neighbor, living in a house close to mine,” he said.
It took time before officers believed that he was not Keceng, he said.
Mintoro’s neighbor and his village head, who rushed to his house right after hearing the incident, also tried to tell officers that he was not Keceng.
The whereabouts of Keceng were unknown. The officers then left Mintoro without a word after realizing that they had misidentified the suspect.
Mintoro was rushed to Bhayangkara Hospital in Kediri by his neighbors.
Responding to the incident, East Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Hilman Tayib said that his office had received no information about the incident, but promised to investigate.
“I have not heard about the incident. I will look for more information and I can assure that all officers committing wrongful actions will receive firm punishment,” Hilman told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the East Java Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) coordinator Andy Irfan urged the police to enact firm action against officers involved in the incident as it frequently occurred.
“They should be fired if proven guilty,” Andy said.
According to a data from KontraS East Java, every year there are up to six false arrests or harassment cases involving police officers since 2008. In 2012 alone, the commission has so far recorded four cases.
“Most cases are rarely brought to court. The officers involved only received punishment from the police’s internal division [propam],” he said. (riz)