Wed, 31 Mar 1999

Police end search for drowned students

BOGOR (JP): The search for Jakarta maritime students drowned in Cisadane River here following a Friday brawl with local students ended on Tuesday.

The team of divers from the police Mobile Brigade and military infantry battalion were withdrawn from the site.

On Tuesday afternoon, local residents were seen diving on their own initiative to find possible new corpses.

The number of students still missing remained unclear as none of their surviving classmates or school authorities had revealed missing students or contacted parents for clarification.

Friday's brawl between some 100 visiting students from at least three of Jakarta's maritime high schools (SPM Adhitama, SPM Baruna and SPM Karyadharma) and students from a local technical high school has so far claimed the lives of 14 students.

The corpses of the victims, all from the Jakarta maritime schools, were found a day later floating on the river.

Bogor's PMI Indonesian Red Cross hospital announced on Tuesday that one of the 14 teenage victims is yet to be identified.

The others were identified as Chaerul Anwar, Moch. Makasau, Sobirin, Triono, Nurmansyah, Ade Hidayat, Rizal (from SPM Adhitama), Marzuki, Iwan Firmansyah, Abdulrahman Fauzi, Haerudin, Abdul Halim (from SPM Baruna) and Agus Rusmana from SPM Karyadharma.

Agus Pranoto, who was earlier named a victim, was no longer on the hospital's list.

A hospital staff member said the body which was first said to be Agus' was disclaimed by his family.

"His family said one of Agus' toe is longer than that of the body we have."

Agus, a student from SPM Adhitama, was named by Bogor Police chief Lt. Col. Edmond Ilyas, as one of the three suspected provocateurs for the incident.

It is believed the three circulated rumors last week among the highschool students. Their alleged statement that a fellow student had been attacked by Bogor students prompted the Jakarta students to seek revenge. The story later turned out to be untrue.

Edmond said on Monday that officers were only tracing the whereabouts of the other two suspects, as he was following hospital reports that Agus was one of the victims.

On Tuesday, Edmond said he would seek help from Jakarta Police detectives to apprehend the two suspects, who he identified as Ismail, a counselor at SPM Ahitama, and Dadang, whose background remained unclear.

In Jakarta, SPM Adhitama principal Suryanto, said his school will probably impose "administrative sanctions" on all students involved in the brawl.

"We'll also invite the students along with their parents for a briefing at the school in an attempt to avoid such an incident again."

He said the date of the meeting is yet to be confirmed but that class scheduling would return to normal from next week.

When asked about counselor Ismail's alleged role in the brawl that led to the drowning of his students, Suryanto said police were wrong.

"It is impossible that Ismail provoked the students since he's the one here responsible for supervising the students."

According to Suryanto, Ismail attended SPM Karyadharma last Wednesday to invite student representatives to hold a meeting to resolve persistent student clashes.

"He even met the SPM Karyadharma principal, Ashvin Tanjung, obtaining permission from him to invite the students to attend the meeting."

The meeting was scheduled to be held last Saturday at SPM Adhitama. It was canceled following the brawl in Bogor, he said.

Suryanto did not reveal whether he knew the whereabouts of Ismail, who graduated from SPM Adhitama last year. (24/01/bsr)