"The police must not commit acts that run counter to their tasks and the country's missions. Furthermore, those demonstrating are university students, our children, who also have the right to be protected and not be shot, beaten up, kicked, or trampled upon," Abbas emphasized here on Wednesday.
The police is chiefly tasked with maintaining security and order, taking legal enforcement action, offering protection, and guarding and serving the public, Abbas, concurrently chairman of the Muhammadiyah Executive Board, remarked.
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The police is an element of the community that bears the noble and sacred task of the state. The use of violence against demonstrators is unacceptable, and it has also led to deaths and grave injuries to demonstrators.
"We deeply regret and express sorrow for what has transpired. We call on the police to be softer and opt for better ways to cater to the demands of the nation's young men," he remarked.
Indonesia does not only belong to a single group but also to university students. They have the right to speak up and participate in deciding the direction and journey of this nation in future, he affirmed.
"The use of violence and extreme actions in confronting them will only fuel revenge and would be detrimental to national developments in future," he stated.
University students staged several demonstrations, taking to the streets in regions across Indonesia over the past several days to oppose the revisions of several laws, including those on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Criminal Code (KUHP).
The rallies in Jakarta, Makassar, and several other regions on Tuesday (Sept 24) turned chaotic, as police personnel employed water cannon and fired tear gas to compel the students to leave. Some of them chased the students and battered them with clubs, thereby causing injuries to several of them.
The Jakarta Police deployed some 18 thousand police officers to guard the Parliament building in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Chief of the Jakarta Police Inspector General Eddy Pramono stated that 265 students were affected in the clashes, 11 of whom required hospital treatment.
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