Tue, 26 Sep 2000

Street justice worries police

BANYUMAS, Central Java: Rampant street justice in the Banyumas jurisdiction, with dozens alleged criminal killed by the mob, seven of them were burned to death in public this year, has worried local police.

Amid the frustration, police officers and some 10,000 local Muslims, including the ulemas, met on Sunday at an event called istigotsah (unofficial gathering). The event took place at the Cilacap Police office yard.

Deputy chief of Central Java Police Brig. Gen. Djaya Atmaja told the audience that taking law into one's hands was against Islamic teaching, and totally unacceptable.

"Let's stop the street justice and create peace among us," he said.

"Cilacap is one of the regencies in Central Java which has the most street justice victims. This year alone, as many as 16 alleged criminals have been mobbed to death in Cilacap," Djaya said.

The gathering, starting at 7 p.m. to 00 a.m., was closed by mass prayer. (45/sur)