Riot breaks out in Kalimantan


  • AseanPlus News
  • Saturday, 19 Oct 2019

Hard progress: While East Kalimantan is set for development as Indonesia’s new capital, its ethnic groups still hold on to ancient customary laws, particularly its Dayak community. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

JAKARTA: A riot broke out in the location of Indonesia’s new capital, in Penajam district in North Penajam Paser regency, East Kalimantan, after a deadly brawl a week prior.

During the riot at Penajam Ferry Port, ticket counters for klotok (traditional wooden boats) and speedboats were damaged, forcing the port management to cease operations for the day.

The East Kalimantan Police arrested four people after the brawl on Oct 9, in which one person was killed and another was injured.

The injured party wants further punishment under customary law, in addition to the legal process.

The people involved the riot want to enforce customary fines against the alleged perpetrators, based on the customary law of their ethnic group.

East Kalimantan Police chief Insp Gen Priyo Widyanto said that people should trust the law enforcement authorities and also called on people to stop spreading news, photos and videos that could worsen the situation.

“Please trust the law enforcement authorities to handle the situation, ” he said on Wednesday.

“Also, please help us keep the situation under control and ensure that everything is secure and in order. Don’t do things that are against the law.”

In a bid to calm the protesters, North Penajam Paser Police chief Adj Sr Comr Sabil Umar and Paser Police chief Adj Sr Comr Roy Satya Putra came and negotiated with the angered group.

The authorities offered to hold an open discussion at the North Penajam Paser regency administration office, but the group turned down the offer.

At 3.30pm local time on Wednesday, more people joined the riot.

They proceeded to burn the already damaged ticket counters.

“At around 5.15pm, the East Kalimantan Police chief arrived at the scene and commanded his officers to control the situation, ” East Kalimantan Police spokesperson Sr Comr Ade Yaya Suryana said.

At around 7pm, the riot ended and people left the area.

The events began on Oct 9 when an unemployed young man, Riki Zulfiar, 18, was involved in an altercation with Hendri Chandra, 19, and Rian, 19.

Hendri reportedly died while receiving medical treatment, while Rian is still receiving intensive care.

According to Sabil, Hendri and Rian had just finished playing football and were on their way home on a motorcycle.

“Suddenly, Riki, on his motorbike approached them and taunted them by making loud noises from his bike’s muffler.

“He looked straight at the victims as he was doing it, ” he explained.

Taking offence, Hendri decided to chase Riki and confronted him.

They reportedly got into an argument and agreed to meet again to “finish their business” at Sipakario Beach, roughly 6km from the port.

Hendri reportedly arrived with five of his friends, while Riki brought seven people with him.

As they were fighting, Riki allegedly stabbed Hendri and then fled the scene.

He was caught in Balikpapan, the province’s capital, less than 24 hours after the brawl took place.

“We confiscated a sharp weapon used to stab the victim as evidence, ” he said, noting that the other three people arrested were charged for possessing sharp weapons. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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