Sat, 09 Dec 2000

Man burned to death for stealing bull

BOGOR (JP): A man was burned to death by a mob for allegedly attempting to steal a bull in Leuwi Batu village, Rumpin district, Bogor regency, on Friday morning.

The victim, identified as 35-year-old Karya of Kampung Kemang in Cidokom village, also in Rumpin district, was alleged to have stolen several head of cattle from here ahead of the Idul Fitri holiday, during which the demand for meat usually increases.

"Karya was mobbed to death after being caught stealing a bull belonging to Inang, 49, a Leuwi Batu villager," said Maman, 28, one of the pallbearers at Karya's funeral later in the day.

The incident, he said, took place at about 7 a.m. when Inung saw his bull being led out of its enclosure toward a rubber plantation by an unknown man, who turned out to be Karya, Maman said.

"Inung then yelled 'thief' and people started to run at Karya and mob him. Some of them poured kerosene on him and burned him to death," he said.

Rumpin Police officers arrived too late to prevent the incident, Maman added.

Karya's body was taken to Bogor PMI Hospital before being handed over to his family for burial.

Almost at the same time on Friday, dozens of angry people burned to death a 43-year-old man at the entrance to Kampung Rambutan bus terminal in East Jakarta.

The mob suspected Roni Rusmakara of being a regular pickpocket at the intercity bus terminal.

An East Jakarta Police officer quoted witnesses as saying that the victim was caught by the mob at 7:20 p.m. after he jumped off a bus that was about to enter the terminal.

"As he jumped off, several people shouted at him, accusing him of being a pickpocket.

"Dozens of others at the ticket booths nearby quickly chased the man and caught him," Second Insp. Dadan S. said.

Roni, from Cisarua, Bogor, was doused with kerosene by someone in the crowd. Seconds later the suspected thief was set on fire, the officer added.

"We have questioned two witnesses at the scene," he said.

The capital and surrounding rural areas have seen a number of people suspected of crime, severely wounded or burned to death by mobs. (21/edt/asa)