Mon, 09 Oct 2000

Police release five for school violence

JAKARTA (JP): East Jakarta Police released on Sunday all five people believed to have triggered a violent clash on Saturday between high school students and Ciracas police in which three officers, a civilian security guard and six students were injured.

Contacted by phone, City Police spokesman Supt. Muhammad Nur Usman said the decision to temporarily free the five was due to inadequate evidence and witnesses.

"There is no evidence so far that proves their roles in the clash, so we let them go free," Nur explained, saying the five are a school alumnus, his mother, two friends and another unidentified person.

The incident also left two cars and two motorcycles -- all belonging to the Ciracas Police subprecinct badly damaged by the angry students from the PB Sudirman Islamic High School.

According to Nur, the police have not yet arrested any of the students, explaining that officers were still investigating.

The clash erupted when the school alumnus, identified only as Farid, a grandson of the school's founder, arrived at the school with two friends and began banging on classroom doors.

The school complex is home to hundreds of students of PB Sudirman junior, senior and vocational high schools.

Witnesses told Kompas that the three challenged students to leave the classrooms and fight with them. Farid and his accomplices have been known to visit the school to bully the students.

Some of the upset students left their classrooms and taught the three intruders a lesson.

The fighting was stopped by teachers, who detained the three men at the school's administration building.

Minutes later, Farid's mother, accompanied by another man, arrived at the school, making the situation even more tense.

The students ran amok and struggled to break into the room, demanding that the teachers hand over the five people.

The school principal and teachers attempted to calm the students but failed. The worsening situation forced the principal to telephone local police.

The police failed to calm the students, who attacked some of the law enforcers and set their vehicles on fire.

In an effort to control the situation, some police personnel then fired warning shots to disperse the violent students.

Second Insp. Trisna got 19 stitches to his forehead after a bench, thrown from the second floor by an unidentified student, struck his head. Two other officers suffered wounds to their heads after being struck by bricks thrown by the students. A civilian guard received nine stitches in the back of his head.

Spokesman Nur said that all of the injured officers left the hospital on Sunday.

Deputy principal of the PB Sudirman Senior High School, Samsudin, said some of the students were also injured, including being shot by rubber bullets.

But his remarks could not be proven as sources at the nearby Pasar Rebo Hospital could only confirm having treated six students, all with slight wounds believed to have been caused by rocks. (09)