Sun, 10 Oct 1999

Street stands destroyed

BANDUNG (JP): Dozens of street stands along Jl. Cibadak were destroyed by angry mobs following a fight between a becak (three- wheel pedicab) driver and a trader on Friday afternoon.

Eyewitnesses said it all started after Yanto, the becak driver, hit a cart pulled by Udin, a cloth trader. Another trader came and smacked Yanto in the face.

Yanto left but, he returned shortly after with a group of people, who later destroyed the stands.

The police arrived at the location and fired shots into the air to disperse the crowd. When they ignored the warnings, the police blocked the road heading to the area to prevent the fight spreading.

It was reported that the incident was the culmination of old conflicts between local residents, who are Sundanese, and traders, who mostly came from outside the province.

The crowd disbursed late in the night after Bandung mayor Endjang Sudarsono, the local police chief, an activist of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle and some community leaders came and promised to relocate the street traders. (43)