Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed his condolences over the incidents that occurred during his recent visit to Labuhanbatu District, North Sumatra.

"The president expressed his condolences and sympathized over incidents that occurred during his working visit to Labuhanbatu," said Ari Dwipayana, Presidential Special Staff Coordinator, in a statement on Tuesday.

One of the incidents that occurred during his Labuhanbatu visit was the death of Marhan Harahap, a local resident, at the same time as Jokowi's visit to the district's Rantauprapat Great Mosque last Friday (March 15).

While being directed away from the mosque by an official after attempting to enter the mosque to attend the Friday prayer due to the massive crowd welcoming the president, Harahap suddenly collapsed in front of the mosque gate.

Despite the medical attention given to him, the elderly passed away.

"The president expressed his utmost condolences over the passing away of Mr. Marhan Harahap," Dwipayana stated.

He also clarified that, on various occasions, Jokowi is keen to interact and communicate with residents during his working visit. The president also instructed security officers to respond humanely to every resident seeking to interact with him.

Presidential Security Forces' (Paspampres) Assistant for Intelligence, Colonel Herman Taryaman, also offered his condolences and clarified that Mr. Harahap's death was not caused by being blocked from entering the mosque. He added that the officer involved was not a member of Paspampres.

"The circulating information that Mr. Marhan Harahap died because of being blocked by Paspampres officers while attempting to enter Labuhanbatu's Rantauprapat Great Mosque is incorrect," Taryaman explained.

He pointed out that a viral video depicting the incident clearly shows the officer who directed Mr. Harahap away was a woman, and there were no female Paspampres officers on duty during the president's visit.

"We hope this incident serves as a valuable lesson to prevent similar occurrences in the future," he stated.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu AJ, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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