Wed, 06 Aug 2003

Three demonstrators arrested

JAKARTA: Three people have been named suspects in the theft of police equipment during a protest outside the People's Consultative Assembly in Jakarta on Monday.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Prasetyo said Sudarto, a student of the University of Indonesia's (UI) school of mathematics and physics, a driver identified as Abu Bakar, and Subian, a sound system mechanic, were arrested on Monday after the rally and were now in police custody.

Prasetyo said the people were charged under article 363 of the Criminal Code for stealing officer's clubs and article 170 of the same law for vandalizing the MPR fence.

Defying the security cordon, some 500 people, including students grouped under the UI Student Executive Board (BEM), forced their way into the Assembly compound, demanding an end to the Annual Session on Monday. Police used water canons to disperse the crowd.

Bull Nationalist Freedom Party (PNBK) chairman Eros Djarot demanded on Tuesday the release of the suspects on his personal guarantee, but the police said the decision rested with the investigators. -- Antara