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October 21, 2022, 02.22 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, has blamed the loss of more than 130 lives in the Kanjuruhan Stadium stampede, Malang, East Java province on Oct. 1, on the use of tear gas by the police.

"Now, I don't care how much of the deadly chemical is [contained in tear gas], it doesn't matter. Because it wasn't the chemical that caused it, but the [use of the tear gas itself] that caused people to panic and then the stampede and die," the chief minister said on Thursday, Oct. 20.

The police and the Indonesian Football Association are equally responsible for the incident.

"Perhaps the tear gas itself did not cause immediate death, but throwing it into certain places caused people to panic, have short breath, then ran to the same place, getting squeezed, and died. So, the cause was tear gas," Mahfud said.

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The joint fact-finding team's recommendation was debated by the community, which questioned its usefulness, he noted.

"Because of this, regarding the world of football, arrangements, organization, and others have been regulated by FIFA [Football's world governing body] and PSSI (Indonesia Football Association). We must not interfere in that, but the government has spoken with the FIFA president and will do the transformation together," he said.

Other recommendations, such as stadium renovations, have been pursued promptly.

“Then, the arrangements for the police to make new rules and begin to make new permanent procedures for football security and so on are now being carried out. I think that is quite the maximum, what has been done by the joint fact-finding team," he said.

The results of a survey conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) have shown that most people hold the police and the league’s organizers the most responsible for the Kanjuruhan tragedy.

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