Thu, 25 Sep 2003

Police attacked over student's death

MATARAM, West Nusa Tenggara: Around 500 people, including students from numerous universities and motorcycle taxi drivers, in West Nusa Tenggara staged a violent demonstration on Wednesday to demand a probe into the death of a student.

Mustakim, a first year student at Sumbawa University, died on Tuesday evening after being taken by police officers from the hospital, where he had been treated for light injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

Sources at the hospital said at least six police officers dragged the victim out of the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, beat and threw him into a patrol car.

Hours later, the police return Mustakim to the hospital but he was already dead, they said.

Mustakim's relative Husain said the deceased's body was covered in wounds when handed over to his bereaved family.

The protest turned violent after the Sumbawa Police claimed Mustakim had died from a drug overdose.

The angry demonstrators stoned the Sumbawa Police station and damaged a police post. They also beat two police officers who tried to mingle with the crowd. --JP