Fri, 04 May 2001

Cibinong stalls destroyed by mobs

BOGOR (JP): Tens of street-side stalls and kiosks at Cibinong market, Bogor regency, were raised to the ground by angry mobs on Wednesday night.

Witnesses said that owners of the stalls and kiosks, aided by local thugs, tried to stop the mobs from moving in to destroy their properties. But they were outnumbered by the attackers.

Following the attack, some owners of the destroyed stalls and kiosks took their case to Bogor's legislative council on Thursday.

They accused local authorities of allowing and even instigating the attacks as a Ramayana department store in Cibinong is soon to be opened on May 7.

"We had been doing business for a long time at that place, but we had never been attacked by mobs. It was only on this occasion that we were ever asked to leave. Maybe they just could not compete with us," Solihin, one of the victims, said.

Cibinong district head Yasin Z. denied the traders' accusation that the authorities supported the attacks.

Yasin said that he had heard long in advance about the planned attacks by local people against the sidestreet stalls, and he had instructed all subdistrict heads under his command to prevent their people from taking the law into their own hands. (21)