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Trying to understand Klitih, Yogyakarta's random gang violence

Titah AW

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Mon, March 22, 2021  /  08:00 am
Trying to understand Klitih, Yogyakarta's random gang violence

A collage of news clippings related to ‘klitih’ violence. (JP/Umar Wicaksono)

Yogyakarta can be a comfortable city, a safe place for both visitors and residents. But like other big cities, at night, its streets can be a place of unexpected violence. At least, this has been the experience of Rafi, a 26-year-old native of the city. "[A few months ago], I was going home by motorbike alone, around 1 o’clock in the morning, when I suddenly heard what sounded like shots and then a bang! The only thing I remember afterwards was the pain in my stomach," he recalls. Rafi had an open wound in his left abdomen. He managed to stop his motorcycle before collapsing onto the asphalt. Although he couldn’t see clearly, he spotted two teenagers riding on motorbikes, brandishing daggers and screaming gleefully. Some people who were passing on motorbikes took him to the hospital. The above occurrence is often referred to as klitih, a term used to descri...