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Jakarta Post

Police arrest in total 8 suspects in Surakarta vigilante attack

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta   /   Fri, December 23, 2016   /  12:17 pm
Police arrest in total 8 suspects in Surakarta vigilante attack Surakarta or Solo city in Central Java. (Antara/Maulana Surya)

Central Java Police have arrested three more suspects as they continue their investigation into a violent raid allegedly carried out by members of a Muslim hard-line group on the Social Kitchen, a dining and nightlife venue in Surakarta.

The three new suspects have been identified as Yudi Wibowo, Mardiyanto and Ranu. Yudi was arrested in Benteng Vastenburg, while Mardiyanto was nabbed in Pasar Kliwon, on Wedneday night. Ranu was arrested a day later at his residence.

Witnesses said they heard gun shots during the police’s apprehension of Yudi. “There were three or four gun shots, I initially thought they were firecrackers, and then shortly after I saw someone being taken in by the police,” Nur Sahid, a local parking attendant, said.

The police also confiscated a car, CCTV footage and five cellular phones as evidence.

Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Condro Kirono said besides committing vandalism, the suspects also allegedly attacked the [Social

Police arrest three more suspects over attack on entertainment venue National Police chief calls for thorough investigation into case

Kitchen’s] guests. The police said they had questioned 19 people in relation to the case who claimed to be victims of the vigilante attack.

Eight suspects of the Dec. 18 attack that reportedly involved more than 20 people now had been named, all of whom were allegedly members of the Surakarta Islamic Paramilitary Troops (LUIS).

Previously on Tuesday, the police arrested five people for allegedly vandalizing the entertainment venue and assaulting its staff and customers on Sunday.

The five people detained were the group’s leader Edi Lukito, spokesperson Endro Sudarsono, secretary Yusuf Suparno, physical trainer Salman Alfarisi and the group’s lawyer, Joko Sutarto.

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has ordered the Central Java Police to prioritize investigation of the case. “I have ordered the Central Java Police chief to expand its investigation further into the case, because it has been reported that 50 people raided and vandalized the Social Kitchen. I want them all arrested to establish a deterrent [against similar attacks],” Tito said as quoted by Antara news agency.

According to police, the group raided the venue because they suspected it sold alcoholic beverages, offered strippers and violated a nightly curfew.

The Surakarta administration has temporarily closed the Social Kitchen’s operations following the raid.

“Central Java Police are investigating the vandalism case. I have asked the administration to close the operations of [the Social Kitchen] until the legal process ends,” Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi “Rudy” Rudyatmo said Wednesday.

Rudy expressed disappointment of the raid, consequent destruction and violence by the group, and their attempt to take the law into their own hands.

There have been indications that the venue has violated its permit by having striptease shows and still being open after 1 a.m.

Rudy said his office would consider revoking the Social Kitchen’s permit pending an investigation into the venue’s alleged violations.

A staff member of the venue confirmed they provided striptease dances but not regularly. “Once or twice a week. But when the raid happened on Sunday, there weren’t any,” Wisnu Setyawan, an employee, said.

Surakarta Public Order Agency head Sutarjo said the Social Kitchen and his office had been in a game of “cat and mouse” regarding the alleged “erotic dances”. He said his office had already sent three warnings to the entertainment venue.

The venue, meanwhile, does have a license to sell alcohol.

Police said they would deploy 9,875 personnel to safeguard Christmas celebration in the province, particularly in Surakarta, home to a number of radical organizations. “[Surakarta] will have higher security [than usual] during the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. We will make sure that there will be no radical organizations orchestrating unlawful raids.”

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