Sat, 29 Apr 2000

Angry university students burn senate hall

JAKARTA (JP): Angry maritime engineering students of Dharma Persada University in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta, set on fire on Friday morning the student senate boardroom of the university's School of Engineering.

"The maritime engineering students have been having this dispute with the engineering students since Thursday. The maritime students got into the boardroom on Friday, and allegedly found crates of Molotov cocktails," East Jakarta Police chief Col. Hidayat Fabanxio told reporters.

"They became really mad and just started trashing the place and set it on fire out of anger. The incident happened at about 9 a.m. on Friday."

On Thursday, the maritime engineering students were holding a band festival when they were reportedly attacked at about 2 p.m. by students from the School of Engineering, who were allegedly armed with sharp weapons.

The afternoon clash, which injured two unidentified students, continued into the night until the police intervened. The two injured students are reportedly receiving treatment at Harum Hospital in Kalimalang, East Jakarta.

Police tried negotiating with the students from both departments until midnight to stop the fighting.

"It seems the maritime engineering students were still not satisfied. Our officers secured the campus until about 3 a.m.," Hidayat said.

"Before our officers left the campus, it was decided that both departments would refrain from academic activities until Tuesday in order to settle the dispute between them."

On Friday morning, maritime engineering students requested the campus' security officers to let them on the campus as they had left their belongings behind during the clash on Thursday afternoon.

"The maritime students passed the School of Engineering, entered it, and went into the senate boardroom. There they allegedly found crates of Molotov cocktails and went berserk. They set the boardroom on fire," Hidayat said. (ylt)