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Police issue shoot-on-sight for for East Java rioters JAKARTA - East Java Police chief Brig. Gen. Herman Suryadi has issued a shoot-on-sight order for rioters following the massive wave of vandalism by disgruntled supporters of a candidate in the Tuban regental elections. Tuban Police intensified their hunt for the masterminds of the violence, Herman said, with a curfew imposed for an indefinite period of time in the area.

East Java Governor Imam Utomo, along with local police and military leaders, decided on the curfew after thousands of people vandalized property Saturday, including the local general election office. "If the protesters resort to anarchy, I instruct (my personnel) to shoot them on sight because they will put other people in danger," Herman was quoted as saying by Antara newswire.

Police are maintaining a strong presence to ward off possible retaliatory moves, including against Chinese-Indonesians. One of the members of the losing ticket was ethnic Chinese. Police have questioned candidate Noor Nahar Hussein and his running mate Go Tjong Ping, whose supporters ran amok after a quick count showed their defeat by incumbent regent Haeny Relawati, who is the former chairwoman of the local Golkar Party chapter.

Thousands of supporters of Noor Nahar and Ping, who were supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, alleged there was election fraud. They burned down Haeny's residence and vandalized property, including a hotel, a warehouse and luxury cars, as well as the Tuban administration hall. The Golkar regional office also was damaged.

Police have arrested 95 people believed to have provoked the violence, in which several policemen were hospitalized for severe injuries after being pelted with stones. With the Tuban chapter of the General Election Commission (KPUD) continuing the ballot count, Haeny and her running mate Lilik Soehardjono still held a 3.5 percent lead over their opponents.

Golkar chairman Jusuf Kalla held an impromptu meeting Sunday at Golkar's head office in Jakarta to discuss the situation. Kalla, who is also the Vice President, said he had instructed the East Java governor and National Police chief Gen. Sutanto to launch a full probe into the rioting and take harsh actions against protesters who used violence. "This isn't just the issue of Golkar, this is about democracy because there are 10 parties that support (Haeny's) bid," he said.

Kalla dismissed calls for a reelection and said protesters should let the local election office and the local election watchdog decide on the polls' legitimacy. "The election was fair and square. It's easy for those who lose to ask for a reelection, but then we would have endless reelections if such a thing was allowed," he said. He said all political parties and their supporters should abide by the law and respect the legal process of the election.


Related blog entry (category 'Protests') Related blog entry (category 'Protests'):
30 April 2006 · Gusdur leaves for Tuban after mass riot


Posted in Protests @ 01 May 2006 07:43 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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