JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Jakarta Metropolitan Police are currently pursuing the persons who attacked and wounded two policemen during protests in the capital held by the Islamic Defenders Front [FPI], and an affiliated organization called Anti-Communist Alliance or ANAK.
They also arrested 455 people during the so-called 18/12 demonstrations, which was named for the date it occurred on Friday, December 18.
“The assailant attacked and stabbed two policemen around Central Jakarta’s Medan Merdeka area, then escaped. As of now, he is still at large,” said Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Chief Police Commissioner Yusri Yunus on Saturday, December 19.
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He added that investigations of the suspect are already under way.
“[Surveillance] photos showed that the suspect stabbed the police officers. We secured his weapon as evidence, though he managed to escape,”
Yusri asserted that the police are still investigating hundreds of protesters whom they detained after dispersing the demonstration.
“Out of the more than 400 people who are still in custody, we are investigating seven of them for carrying sharp weapons and narcotics,” Yusri noted.
“Five people from Tangerang, Banten Province are among the former, while two demonstrators are among the latter.” However, protest coordinator Rijal Kobar of ANAK denied any responsibility.
“Those [protesters] carrying sharp weapons are not [from ANAK], as we did not allow our people to carry them,” he insisted. “Besides, I do not have any information about the issue.”
The FPI and [ANAK] organized the protest, which they intended was to take place before the Presidential Palace. The police refused to issue a permit for the gathering, on grounds that it violated health protocols, and dispersed the demonstration.
The government deployed nearly 6 thousand police and and military personnel to secure the protests.
The demonstrators called on the police to release FPI chief Rizieq Shihab, whom they detained after the firebrand cleric turned himself in. They also called on the police to be accountable for the deaths of six FPI members whom they killed on a toll road outside Jakarta.
(Writer: Muhammad Isa Bustomi | Editors: Krisiandi, Nursita Sari)
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