Mon, 07 Feb 2000

Gold miner shot dead in Bogor

BOGOR (JP): Twenty-seven-year-old Aduy was shot dead by an officer in the compound of Gunung Pongkor gold mine on Saturday.

Two officials who were suspected of being involved in the shooting were questioned by the Bogor Military police, but no names have been released.

Witnesses said Aduy was shot when the latter and a group of miners were about to dig in a quarry belonging to PT Antam on Pongkor Mountain.

"He just dropped dead. When we checked him there was a bullet hole in his left chest," a worker said, adding that Aduy's body was brought to PMI Hospital later that day.

Bogor Regional Police chief Col. Edi Darnadi confirmed the incident, saying that the case was "politically motivated".

"There was another party who resisted the Police Mobile Brigade who were securing the mine at Pongkor Mountain," Edi said, adding that the bullet that hit Aduy was a .38 caliber, while the brigade uses a SS-1 automatic rifle with 5.6 caliber bullets.

For several years, poorly equipped gold miners have risked their lives digging shafts in the Pongkor area to collect earth from which gold is extracted.

The Pongkor Mountain has become a mass grave for scores of unauthorized miners over the past few years.

However, this has not stopped others from filling their places, as migrant miners flock from the West Java towns of Sukabumi, Pelabuhan Ratu and other provinces, such as Lampung and North Sumatra. (21/edt)