BEKASI, KOMPAS.com - Thousands of Indonesians who travel by motorcycles for their annual homecoming rammed security barricades on the border of Bekasi-Karawang regency in West Java amid the Eid al-Fitr travel ban on Sunday, May 9.
Some motorcyclists even drove in the opposite direction to avoid the security checkpoint which was guarded by members of the police, military, and Transportation agency, causing worst traffic conditions, Warta Kota reported.
The officers appeared to be overwhelmed by a sea of people who packed the two lanes. The homecoming travelers were told to turn back, but they refused. The government has issued Eid al-Fitr travel ban from May 6-17 as part of the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
As a result, thousands of motorcycles clogged the road, causing traffic congestion for five kilometers as they continued to force their way through the security checkpoint. The police then opened the barricades to prevent an unwanted situation from occurring.
The travelers were allowed to pass through the checkpoint, which was opened until the situation of the road was deemed safe. On Monday around 01:50 am, the situation at the checkpoint was finally conducive.
Head of Bekasi Police Commissioner Hendra Gunawan claimed that the officers had tried hard to keep out the travelers at the Kedungwaringin checkpoint.
"In order to unravel the congestion, we opened the barricades," Hendra said as quoted by Warta Kota on Monday, May 5.
Hendra explained before opening the barricades, his officers had coordinated with the border posts in other areas, such as in Karawang, Purwakarta, and Subang.