Tito orders crackdown on violent trans-Sumatran highway robbers
The Jakarta Post
National Police chief Gen.Tito Karnavian has ordered all police in Lampung to crack down on begal (violent robbers), that usually operated along the trans-Sumatra highway.
“If you [local police chiefs] cannot catch these bandits, I will personally hold you all responsible. Do you understand?” Tito warned on Tuesday. He was alluding to the fact that begal would not only rob travelers, but also attack them.
Begal issues have come to public attention following reports that were circulated about Syahroni, a traveler from Bekasi, West Java, who was violently attacked with a bladed weapon on Saturday by a group of motorcycle thieves on a highway in Tarahan, South Lampung. Syahroni survived the attack and was admitted to Abdul Moeloek Regional General Hospital.
In responding to the incident, Tito asked the Lampung Police to form a special task force to capture the attackers.
He also ordered the Lampung Police to seek assistance from local police chiefs and military commanders if they lacked either personnel or weapons.
“You can capture these bandits but if they resist, do not hesitate to use force,” Tito said.
While the police proceeded in trying to capture the criminals, Tito said, the local administrations should also become actively involved in efforts to tackle the problem.
“It is likely these bandits feel marginalized and therefore, it is critical for the government to make efforts to provide more job opportunities for the people,” he said. (nor/ebf)
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