Thu, 05 Oct 2000

Students attack paramilitary students

JAKARTA (JP): Hundreds of students of privately-run Krisna Dwipayana University mobbed four members of the student paramilitary regiment (Menwa) and razed two campus facilities to the ground on Wednesday.

The violence erupted at the end of a peaceful protest by the students demanding the abolition of Menwa in their campus in Jatiwaringin, East Jakarta.

When their demands to speak to rector Sudarji Darmudihardjo went unheeded, the students marched towards the Menwa post, dragged out and beat four members guarding the place and then set fire to the facility.

They also razed a clinic for the university's employees and vandalized a printing facility as they searched for other Menwa members, including its commander Dwi Antoro.

The four injured Menwa members were taken to the rectorate office for treatment.

Menwa runs training in military discipline for university students. The organization has become unpopular among other students because of the abusive behavior of its members.

Several universities, including state-run ones, have abolished the Menwa units in their campuses.

The rampage stopped when Sudarji appeared to meet with students.

Regretting the violence, the rector agreed to their demand to disband the regiment and signed a statement prepared by the students to that effect. (01)