Fri, 08 Dec 2000

Nightspots vandalized for ignoring regulations

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi (JP): Dozens of people, claiming to be members of Laskar Jundullah, a Muslim organization, destroyed a nightspot on Thursday for ignoring operating hours during the Muslim fasting month.

It was the second such action by the group, having vandalized a karaoke hall last Saturday for a similar reason.

The Muslim group claimed to be the task force of the Committee for the Preparation of the Enforcement of Syariah Islam. It was led by Agus Dwikarna during the pre-dawn raid on Terminal One Cafe on Jl. Rusa.

The group smashed windows and all electronic goods in the building, seized hundreds of bottles of liquor and scores of pornographic compact video discs.

Agus said that the management of Terminal One had violated the deal with the local administration. "We turned over what we seized to the police."

The sudden raid on the three-story nightspot scared the guests, who fled seeking safety.

Agus said that the Makassar administration and the police should actively monitor the nightspots during the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan. "Adamant nightspot owners will face the people."

Ass. Supt. Idris Kadir, chief of intelligence and security at the Makassar Police headquarters, said that taking the law into one's hands was against the law. "We hope that Laskar Jundullah will keep working with us in handling such cases."

On Tuesday the Muslim group marched to the Makassar mayoralty, demanding that mayor HB Amiruddin Maula ban any entertainment centers from operating at night during the fasting month.

"If the administration and police are too slow to act, we will do it our own way," Agus told the mayor, citing last Saturday's raid on Hotel Century Inn cafe.

Mayor Maula said legal actions were preferable in dealing with the nightspots. "I will have those violating the rules punished. I hope that you will show restraint for the sake of the people." (27/sur)