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These places have witnessed the many
horrific atrocities that took place in the capital. Some happened
centuries ago, while others occurred not too long ago. Although some
doubt the authenticity of the stories behind these sites, we pick
five places that remind us of events we hope that we never see happen
What really happened the night of Sept.
30 and Oct. 1, 1965, better known as the G30S movement, is quite
complex and full of mystery.
But long story short, an incident that
resulted in the killing of six generals and one lieutenant took place
at night. The bodies of the seven Army officers were then thrown into
an unused well in a swampy area, called Lubang Buaya (Crocodile Pit)
near Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta.
The well is now marked by a huge
monument that was built in 1969. It features life-size statues of the
seven “martyrs” of Pancasila, and a recounting of the New Order
regime’s version of events regarding the actions of the Indonesian
Communist Party (PKI) since independence.
For those who want to get a sense of
what really happened that night, a visit to the museum in the
compound is worth the experience. But be prepared, because you might
get spooked or feel disgusted since the museum is not well
Bidara Cina district
The area is known as the floating
village as it often gets flooded during the rainy season. But does
anyone know that the district has a dark past?
According to one story, the killing of
thousands of Chinese living in the area took place in the 1700s.
But another story recounts that the
Ciliwung River, which flows along the district, was used as a trade
way for Chinese traders from Depok and Bogor to do business at Mester
market in Jatinegara. Local residents found them annoying, and they
became the targets of crime. The tragedy prompted locals to call the
area Bidara Cina, taken from cina berdarah (Chinese blood).
But historian Adolf Heuken said that
both versions were just tall tales, saying that the district was
named after Bidara trees that were planted by Chinese people living
in the eastern part of Batavia.
The July 27, 1996 incident occurred
when former president Soeharto lost his patience. The PDI
headquarters on Jl. Diponegoro 58 was used as a forum for free speech
by opposition leaders to criticize his administration.
The attack was held by supporters of
Soerjadi, Megawati Soekarnoputri’s opponent in the party, who
received full support from police and military personnel.
Megawati, who was elected in 1993 at
the party congress in the East Java capital of Surabaya, was replaced
by Soerjadi, the pro-government veteran politician in the 1996
Her supporters, however, refused to
recognize Soerjadi’s election and defended the party’s
headquarters as their base.
A witness said that around 60 people
were brutally beaten to death when they tried to protect the
building. But the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of
Violence (KontraS) said that 11 people died during the incident.
A number of former military and police
officials have been questioned over the incident. They include former
military chief (ret.) Gen. Feisal Tanjung, chief of military
sociopolitical affairs Syarwan Hamid and city police chief Maj. Gen.
Hundreds of years ago, the Dutch called
the district Kampung Bebek since the many Chinese people who lived
there had duck farms.
The Dutch administration imposed a
regulation to expel Chinese people who did not have a permit to stay
because they feared losing bargaining power in trade to the Chinese,
In reaction, the Chinese started to rebel against the Dutch.
The administration killed any rebels
and dumped their bodies into the river passing the district, known as
Kali Angke (Angke River). Legend has it that the once crystal clear
river immediately turned red when the bodies of thousands of Chinese
people were dumped there.
Some assume that the name of the river
derived from the Hokkian Chinese word ang, meaning red and ke,
meaning river. But a historian said that Angke in Sanskrit only meansa deep river.
Countless gruesome events have occurred
The 300-year-old museum used to be a
city hall. The building has three low-ceiling underground water
prisons. Two of the underground prisons were designed for men and one
for women, where the Dutch colony imprisoned Indonesian insurgents
and Dutch rebels. The 8-meter-long and 3-meter-wide cell could hold
up to 80 people.
Many died of asphyxiation and disease
in these cells. — JP