Three officers from the Mamberamo Raya Police force have died while two others sustained injuries following a reported clash with military personnel in Mamberamo Raya regency, Papua, on Sunday morning.
“Two police officers were killed in the clash. However, we have received a report that another officer succumbed to his injuries at the hospital this morning,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
He added the incident was caused by a misunderstanding between the police officers and military personnel in the regency on Saturday.
A family member of one of the deceased victims, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said the incident occurred when more than a dozen Memberamo Raya Police officers went to the Infantry Batallion (Yonif) 755 task force post in Kasonaweja at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday following an alleged beating of their colleague by military personnel.
Two days earlier, a police officer identified as Chief Brig. Petrus Duow reportedly agreed to rent a motorbike from a local ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver for Rp 50,000 (US$3.49) per hour. However, the police officer only paid Rp 50,000 after borrowing the motorbike for three hours.
Amid the heated argument between Petrus and the ojek driver, other ojek drivers called personnel of Yonif 755 task force to come. Ten military personnel arrived and allegedly beat Petrus.
Memberamo Raya Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Alexander Louw had told his subordinates not to seek revenge for the incident, saying he and the local military commander would work to resolve the matter.
However, around 20 police officers reportedly ignored the call and went to the military post in Kasonaweja on Sunday morning. A conflict ensued, with military personnel allegedly chasing after and shooting at the fleeing police officers.
Paulus said he had ordered the local police chief to transport the deceased and injured victims out of the area and told other officers and their families not to leave the police headquarters.
He added that he and Cenderawasih Military Command commander Maj. Gen. Herman Asaribab would go to Mamberamo Raya to resolve the conflict.
Cenderawasih Military Command spokesperson Col. Eko Daryanto said the military command and the Papua Police had formed a joint team to investigate the incident, as quoted by kompas.com. (trn)