Thu, 06 Oct 1994


Train journey

From Kompas

A "mind your head" slogan should be popularized among Jabotabek train passengers. It is really quite unpleasant to ride in the Jabotabek train. That the train is far too crowded with people pressed up against each other is the order of the day. But the passengers of the Jakarta-Bekasi-Cikampek train must be vigilant against the chances of being hit by stones hurled by a group of pupils lined up along the railway track opposing another group of students who happen to ride on the roof of the train. The situation becomes worse as the residents living along the track join in the war of stones.

On Sept. 14, 1994 I happened to witness an incident in which an old man suffered a severe injury to his knee as a result of the stone hurling during a spat between the two opposing groups of youngsters. The following day, a group of village youths armed with batons held up the Jakarta-Cikampek train, angrily and forcefully entered the coaches and began hitting youngsters in school uniforms.

Imagine the turbulence and the panic created by the intruders and only when security officers intervened did the situation come under control. Maybe every commuter should wear a helmet for protection.