One dead after gang brawl in Cengkareng
Paper Edition | Page: 2
Police shot dead at least one man and critically injured another for resisting arrest during a raid following a violent brawl over a land dispute in Taman Palem Lestari in Cengkareng, West Jakarta, police say.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto confirmed that the altercation on Wednesday that lead to the raid was between members of rival gangs led by former crime lord Hercules Rozario Marshal and murder suspect John Refra, also known as John Kei.
“The two men were shot because they were in a car that tried to get away from the scene of the brawl, resisting the attempt of police officers to apprehend them. Officers fired warning shots but they did not stop, so further shots were fired into the car and its tires.”
According to police, the men were both members of Hercules’ gang.
The man slain by police was identified as Semi Binggo, who was shot in the head. He was buried at a cemetery in Karet Tengsin in Central Jakarta on Thursday.
The critically injured man was identified as Lajuma Maswatu, 28, who was shot in the chest and taken to Cengkareng Regional Hospital for treatment.
The brawl began around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, when John Kei’s men attempted to enter the area in dispute and were met by Hercules’ men who had been entrusted with the security.
The gangs brawled sporadically for several hours. Attempts to mediate the conflict by the authorities failed.
Around 2 p.m., a platoon of Sabhara rapid response officers from the Jakarta Police were deployed to the scene. Eventually, 300 officers from the Jakarta and West Jakarta Police were deployed to end the brawl.
According to Rikwanto, the West Jakarta Police arrested 102 members of John’s gang for questioning, while eight men from Hercules’ gang were detained by the Jakarta Police Mobile Investigation Unit (Resmob). “None have been named as suspects, as we are still in the early stages of the investigation,” Rikwanto said.
The man who allegedly incited the attack, identified by police as Rais Kei, is at large and has been included on the police’s most wanted (DPO) list.
Police have also seized 91 edged weapons, including samurai swords and machetes, and several crowbars, spears and iron bars from the gang members.
As of Thursday evening, the area under dispute was under guard by 50 officers from the West Jakarta Police as well as officers from a local Mobile Brigade (Brimob) special operations unit.
Jakarta, the capital of the nation’s government as well as its business center, has seen its economy develop rapidly in recent decades, attracting people from all over the archipelago.
Urbanization, poverty and high unemployment have contributed to the city’s high crime rate, which has also been fueled by thugs and gangs, often under the guise of state-sanctioned “mass organizations”.
The incidence of deadly fights between mass organizations, which are often drawn along ethnic lines, have increased.
In late 2010, for example, a clash between rival gangs from Ambon and Flores broke out on Jl. Ampera in South Jakarta. Three Ambonese were killed, while dozens on both sides were injured.
That clash was triggered by an incident in April 2010 over who was to provide security at the upscale Blowfish nightclub in South Jakarta.
There were at least seven brawls between mass organizations in 2011, including three people who were killed in four days of street clashes between the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR) and the Pancasila Youth (PP) in Depok, West Java.
The reasons behind most of the gang brawls remain unclear. Some are sparked by trivial matters. Earlier this year, members of the FBR clashed with the PP over who would “protect” a durian stall on Jl. Rawasari in Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta.