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Jakarta Post

House to examine who was behind violence at anti-Ahok rally

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 8, 2016   /  04:00 pm
House to examine who was behind violence at anti-Ahok rally Protesters flock to the House of Representatives building on Jl.Gatot Subroto in Senayan, Central Jakarta, in a rally against Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on Nov.4. (Antara/Rosa Panggabean)

The House of Representatives’ Commission III, which oversees legal and security affairs, is set to open an investigation into violence at the Nov.4 protest demonstration to uncover whether provocateurs incited a riot after the official end of the rally.

Commission III deputy chairman Desmond Junaidi Mahesa said evidence previously collected by the commission’s members showed there was a role played by a high-ranking Jakarta Police official in inciting members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), one of the Islamic organizations that organized the rally, to fight against student activists from the Association of Islamic Students (HMI), who also took part in the event.

Desmond, a Gerindra Party politician, said Commission III members had called for an investigation to clarify the finding because arbitrarily blaming HMI members as the sole party that should be held responsible for the violence was unfair.

“Evidence obtained by Commission III members shows HMI members participating in the rally turned aggressive after the police fired tear gas at them,” Desmond told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. “We must investigate this to get a comprehensive explanation about what actually happened.”

Thousands of members and sympathizers of several Islamic organizations staged a rally last Friday protesting against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s alleged blasphemy. The rally was largely peaceful but after it officially ended violence broke out.

Desmond said the commission would open the investigation as soon as the House resumed sitting on Nov.16.

As earlier reported, the Jakarta Police arrested five HMI members, including the association’s secretary general Amy Jaya Halim, early on Tuesday in connection with an attack on police officers during the massive rally. (ebf)

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