Police arrest 62 suspected of spurring violence during rallies

Police arrest 62 suspected of spurring violence during rallies

We have long warned of third parties capitalizing on the unrest. Hence, we urge the public to not be incited.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The police detained 62 people suspected of inciting violence during a rally in front of the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) building in Jakarta that resulted in chaos across the capital, late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

"The police have arrested over 62 people for allegedly acting as provocateurs and committing other criminal offences," Chief of the Public Information Bureau of the National Police Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo stated at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday.

"The police have identified the first (suspected) provocateur, who is not a resident of Jakarta," he revealed.

Prasetyo, ex-deputy chief of the Central Kalimantan Provincial Police, suspects third parties of infiltrating the rallies on late Tuesday and early Wednesday that resulted in chaos.

"We have in advance raised caution over third parties attempting to further their plans by fueling the unrest. Hence, we appeal to the public to not become agitated," he noted.

He stated that the rally staged in front of the Bawaslu building was held in a peaceful manner at the start. As a matter of fact, the police had extended the time for the demonstrators to hold a rally until night.

"We gave them more time until they broke the fast and then performed isya and tarawih prayers. Moreover, some of our personnel had joined them in performing prayers. Thereafter, the police chief appealed to them to disperse," he remarked.

The protestors then left the place on Tuesday at around 9 p.m. local time, though at around 11 p.m. local time, a group of some 100 people then congregated in front of the Bawaslu building and destroyed the barbed-wired barricades," he remarked.

The police officers attempted to negotiate with the demonstrators to leave the scene, but to no avail.

"When the police officers pushed the demonstrators, they reacted by hurling stones, wood, and Molotov cocktail (at the police officers)," he revealed.