Members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) in Depok gathered outside the mayoralty office compound on Friday to protest, what they deemed to be, the half-hearted raids in red-light areas by the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP).
The protesters demanded that the administration and the police permanently close venues they believed to accommodate prostitution in the municipality.
“If the administration does not do it right, we will take over the raids,” FPI Depok chairman Habib Idrus Algadri said, adding the accusation that the prostitution business was backed by some political party members.
On Thursday, Satpol PP officers and a team from Depok police closed over 50 cafes allegedly providing illicit sex in Pondok Rangon, which borders Depok, Bekasi and East Jakarta.
Many of the cafes raided had been abandoned by the owners prior to the raids.
Some of the cafe owners resisted closure and claimed that their businesses were legal. However, during the raids, the officers found unmarried couples in the bedrooms at the cafes.
The officers also confiscated hundreds of bottles of alcohol although the cafes did not hold the relevant license to sell alcohol.
On Wednesday, officers sealed Duta Residence Hotel in Sukmajaya for running a business without a permit after residents reported it for allegedly accommodating prostitution.
“Those raids were fake because we found couples still committed adultery in those places afterwards,” Habib Idrus said.
The rally on Friday was guarded by dozens of police officers with police women deployed to prevent protesters from forcing their way in to City Hall.
Satpol PP chief Gandara Budiana declined the accusation of fake raids and hotel closure.
“We banned activities in Pondok Rangon in July last year, but the residents broke the seal on the cafes and resumed the night activities. This time, we are determined to bring the offenders to court,”
Separately in Tangerang regency, the administration had made it clear that it would take stern measures against the presence of amusement places at Citra Raya residential area in Cikupa district.
Tangerang Public Order Agency chief Teteng Jumara said the residents had filed complaints over alleged prostitution in the area.
“We will execute all illegal amusement places, mostly massage parlors, in the near future. We are just waiting for a written instruction from Regent Ismet Iskandar,” he said.
The agency found that only one of the amusement places could show an operating permit issued by the administration, Teteng said, declining to name the businesses to be closed in the near future.
FPI members in Panongan district had earlier delivered complaints with the administration about the presence of the illegal amusement places that had caused unrest to the locals.