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Jakarta Post

False news spread on social media incited riot in N. Sumatra: Police chief

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, July 31, 2016   /  04:07 pm
False news spread on social media incited riot in N. Sumatra: Police chief Tri Ratna Temple is seen following a riot in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, on July 29. Rioters attacked the temple and several other Buddhist houses of worship following an argument between locals. (Antara/Anton)

A riot in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra that saw several Buddhist temples set alight and plundered was incited by social media activity, National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said on Sunday during a visit in the aftermath of the riot.

"There were people spreading information that riled people up on social media, thereby causing the riot," he said on Sunday as reported by

The riot took place on Friday evening following a meeting between a local named Meliana, who had complained over the microphone volume of Al Maksum Mosque, and Al Masksum congregation members. The meeting was then taken to the Tanjung Balai Police for mediation.

"During the mediation, there were people spreading rumors on social media," Tito continued.

It was reported that one temple and three pagodas were burned down. Rioters also destroyed prayer equipment, Buddha statues, tables, chairs, lamps, several cars and motorbikes in the incident. The rioters also plundered the houses of worship.

North Sumatra Police have arrested nine people in connection with the incident. Seven people are suspected of causing damage while two other people were filmed on CCTV participating in the riot, Tito added. (rin)


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