Sat, 29 Apr 2000

FPI members suspected behind attack on bar

JAKARTA (JP): City police detectives are investigating an act of vandalism which occurred on Thursday night in which a karaoke bar in Ciputat was seriously damaged and resulted in an attack on an officer of the Elite Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob).

According to Jakarta Police spokesman, Lt. Col. Zainuri Lubis, a total of 135 members of the Defenders of Islam (FPI), under the leadership of Jafar Sidiq, planned the attack at the bar when they found out that it operated gambling dens.

"FPI should have asked the police to deal with the gambling dens, in accordance with the law," Zainuri said.

The injured police officer was identified as First Sgt. Andrianus P. Lestiono, a member of the city police Brimob. Andrianus was transferred early on Friday morning from Pondok Cabe Clinic to Fatmawati Hospital, both in South Jakarta.

"Aside from material losses, they also endangered an officer's life. It was good that they realized their mistake, and immediately took the injured officer to Pondok Cabe Clinic."

Broken mirrors, the destruction of nearly 100 crates of beer and other material losses at the bar, located on Jl. Adiwinoto, Ciputat, is estimated at Rp 15 million (US$2,000).

Separately, Jafar Sidiq claimed that there was "no attack" on any bar on Thursday night.

"We were just patrolling the area and while passing by, we saw this bar where several people were sitting and openly drinking heavily. We tried to intervene, to talk to the people in the bar," Jafar told The Jakarta Post over the telephone.

"About the police officer ... not one member of our group carried a knife or a machete. So how could we hurt anybody? We just had pentungan (sticks). It's a lie that we attacked the police officer. It was the masses ... there were hundreds."

He added that what he saw that night was no mistake.

"The bar was open, not closed. Please, this is no big deal. Don't overexpose this news," he said.

A police source said that at about 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, police had received a call from a resident of Ciputat village that an attack on a bar was currently ongoing and that a police officer was being attacked.

When Ciputat Police officers reached the bar, they found it severely damaged and received information that Andrianus had been taken to Pondok Cabe Clinic.

"A witness, Wawan Setiawan, told police officers that FPI members had forcibly entered the otherwise closed bar, where there were only bar employees, and started breaking everything," the source said.

"Andrianus, who was in the area, identified himself as a police officer and requested FPI members to stop destroying things. Instead, Andrianus was dragged, beaten and then struck with a machete on his back."

The source said when FPI members saw that Andrianus was bleeding badly, they drove him to Pondok Cabe Clinic. (ylt)