Sun, 28 May 2000

Group attacks police at boardinghouse

BOGOR (JP): A Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officer was hurt and two motorcycles were destroyed on Friday evening when a group of about 75 men attacked a boardinghouse in Kedung Halang.

The attack on the boardinghouse rented by Brimob officers was believed to be the continuation of a dispute between the officers and members of the 10th/76 Artillery Battalion in Ciluar which erupted last Sunday.

An eyewitness said that he saw the men -- all with crewcuts and carrying bayonets, sickles and other sharp weapons -- arrive in four military Land Rovers and run rampage through the boardinghouse belonging to local resident Agus Komara.

The boardinghouse was occupied by Chief Sgt. Supriadi, First Sgt. Syamsulrizal, Second Sgt. Tito, Second Sgt. Erwin and Prawoto, a civilian working for Brimob headquarters.

"I didn't know what exactly was happening. I just saw the Brimob officers escape when the group of attackers started their action," the eyewitness who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

"The men assaulted First Sgt. Robert Noven, who was playing the guitar in Supriadi's room. They beat up Robert."

Robert was rushed to the PMI Hospital in Kedung Halang, before being moved to the Kramat Jati Police Hospital in Jakarta on Saturday.

Boardinghouse owner Agus said he saw four military vehicles parked near the house when the attack occurred.

The boardinghouse, located on Jl. Pembangunan Kaum in North Bogor district, consists of eight separate units, six of them rented by Brimob officers.

The house is about two kilometers from Regiment I of Brimob headquarters.

"After destroying the officers' rooms and attacking Robert, the men burned two motorcycles parked in the complex," the eyewitness said.

The motorcycles were later identified as belonging to Syamsulrizal and Supriadi.

No military police officers arrived to intervene and the incident ended when the men drove off in the vehicles.

Eyewitnesses said they believed the attack was linked to last Sunday's clash between Kedung Halang Brimob officers and their counterparts from the artillery battalion.

The clash, which left at least one Brimob and one artillery personnel injured, started with a heated argument between the two groups at a billiard hall at Jambu Dua Mall.

Efforts to settle the dispute were made by senior officers from both sides. However, no firm deal was reached before Friday's incident. (21/sur)