The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Police will deploy thousands of officers to secure a demonstration against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama set to take place on Friday afternoon.
The protest over blasphemy allegations was initiated by the hard-line Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI).
Central Jakarta Police spokesman Comr. Suyatno said 3,420 personnel would be assigned to the task, with thousands of people expected to join the protest.
"We will maximize security in the areas where the demonstrators will hold their protest," he said on Thursday, adding that the number of personnel may increase in accordance with further instructions from Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mochamad Iriawan.
The FPI and several other groups are scheduled to start their protest at 1 p.m. after Friday prayers in Central Jakarta. The protestors will likely march from Istiqlal Mosque to the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) office in Gambir and end at City Hall.
"We urge police to act firmly and investigate Ahok as soon as possible. If police fail to do so, it will trigger people's emotion, which has been restrained for some time," warned FPI Jakarta secretary Novel Bamukmin.
The hard-line groups had slammed Ahok for alleged religious defamation in citing Surah al-Maidah, verse 51 of the Quran, during a visit to the regency of Thousand Islands on Sept 28.
Ahok's statements had drawn protest from Muslim groups, including the Indonesian Ulema Council, which announced that he had committed blasphemy with his remarks. An FPI member filed a report with Bareskrim against Ahok.
Ahok apologized for his remarks on Monday, saying he had had no ill intentions with regard to either the Quran or Muslims. (rin)
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