Sat, 04 Jun 1994

Mass rally planned today in support of anti-crime drive

JAKARTA (JP): The public will simultaneously rally today at each district military command across the greater Jakarta to express their support for Operation Cleansing.

"The planned rally clearly shows the overwhelming enthusiasm on the part of the public to join forces with the police in waging a war against crime," Brig. Gen. Wiranto, chief of the staff of the Jakarta military command said Thursday at the "Coffee Morning" party at the Jakarta military headquarters.

Wiranto was quoted by Antara as saying that the rally could help deter criminals from resuming their acts since all walks of life have been orchestrated to fight them.

On the same occasion, Col. E. Sutarto, Operational Assistant at the Jakarta Military Command, said the city branch of the Agency for Coordinating the Support for National Stability, sponsor of the operation, would circulate stickers containing the pager numbers of members of the operation squad in case that the public need quick help against criminals.

The stickers would be put up at telephone booths, he said.

"This way the public will easily know the numbers of patrolmen to be contacted," said Sutarto.


Earlier, Maj. Gen. Hendropriyono, the Jakarta military commander, said the response from the public to the report-by- pager scheme remained underwhelming.

Hendro has increased the number of motorbike patrolmen to 1,000 from the initial 100.

The anti-crime Operasi Bersih aims at cracking down on crimes as they happen and preventing them.

initially the operation was better known as an operation launched against illegal sales of alcoholic drinks due to its aggressive campaign against drink and drunkards. So far more than a half million bottles of liquor have been confiscated and around 500 drunks captured.

In a related development, Arman Rachman Iskandar, chairman of the Jakarta chapter of the PHRI (Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association) told the Jakarta Post yesterday the businesses which joined the association were not at all affected by the operation crackdown on liquor.

"The liquor the hotels and restaurants of the PHRI sell are imported. It is authorized by the government," said Arman, adding that all liquor confiscated by the operation was locally made.

Arman said currently there are 299 hotels and restaurants registered as members of the association. "This mean 70 percent of hotels and restaurants across Jakarta have become members of the PHRI."(jsk)