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A large mass gathering in downtown Jakarta concluded in a peaceful manner on Friday afternoon as most participants fulfilled their promise to disperse immediately after the end of Friday prayers.
More than 500,000 people flocked to the National Monument (Monas) square in Central Jakarta starting Friday morning to participate in a demonstration to push for the immediate arrest of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama over alleged blasphemy.
Shortly after the Friday prayer, rally participants started to leave Monas through three entrance gates, with hundreds of police and military personnel watching to maintain order.
Comr. Sunardi, an on-duty officer from the Jakarta Police, applauded participants’ willingness to maintain order, claiming that his agency recorded no untoward incidents having taken place.
"We have been prepared for anything, but we’re surely glad if this rally could be ended peacefully like this," he told The Jakarta Post.
(The Jakarta Post / Agnes Anya, Indra Budiari)