Mon, 11 Jun 2001

Retired officers told to leave residences at Police HQ

JAKARTA (JP): The City police have instructed 13 families of elderly, retired police officials to evacuate the official residences they have occupied at the Jakarta Police Headquarters for more than 20 years.

The City police declared that the official residences had been allocated to currently active police officials who are in need of homes.

According to Usman Hamid of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), all 13 families have received written instruction to vacate their homes from City Police chief Insp. Gen. Sofjan Yacob, dated May 31, 2001.

They were ordered to vacate their homes by June 9, 2001. But by Sunday, not a single of the 13 families had left the residences.

Usman said the time interval given was not enough for those families to leave. The police had not given them any alternative either, not even the provision of rooms, anywhere in the capital.

"Where will these poor families of retired brigadier generals and police colonels go?", Usman Hamid told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

"Where will all these people go, without a home? They have families living with them."

Usman said he would accompany the families on Monday to try and meet with Sofjan, and discuss the issue.

"We know it is too late, but we must try," Usman said.

Meanwhile, police sources told reporters that the 13 families had been given several warnings earlier, and had enjoyed their free residences "for too long".

"These are official residences that belong to the state. They are not owned by the families, even if the families have stayed there for over 20 years," a source said. (ylt)