Wed, 31 Mar 1999

Mob runs amok over village head

BANJARNEGARA, Central Java: Hundreds of residents in the Central Java village of Kalimandi ran amok on Monday, destroying seven buildings and poisoning four fishponds which contained thousands of fish worth millions of rupiah.

Their anger was reportedly sparked by disappointment with the election of 40-year-old Tulus as the new village head.

"The people have staged rallies to protest Tulus' appointment, but they have failed to provide a reason for their opposition," Banjarnegara Police chief Lt. Col. Sunardi said.

Regent Nurachmad said he had no legal basis to reject Tulus, saying he was elected in a democratic and lawful manner.

Earlier on Sunday, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a house belonging to Harto Susanto, new head of Pulorejo, another Central Java village. No fatalities were reported.

Purwodadi Police chief Lt. Col. Cornelius said he suspected Harto's opposition was responsible for the cocktail. Harto was elected new village head last month. (45/har/edt)