Mon, 17 Oct 1994

Trivial dispute leads to institute students' brawl

JAKARTA (JP): Dozens of students from neighboring reputable colleges in the southern outskirts clashed Saturday over a trivial cause: the usual jostling on public buses.

The brawl involving students from the National Institute of Science and Technology (ISTN) and the Institute of Socio- political Sciences (IISIP) ended up with two arrests, minor injuries and serious damage to seven cars.

Eyewitnesses said the brawl started after dozens of ISTN students raided the IISIP campus.

Both colleges are in Lenteng Agung area, about three kilometers from each other.

"We just don't know what actually happened. Suddenly dozens of the angry students entered the front gate and smashed car windshields in the parking lot," said a student, who asked not to be identified.

The incident, which started around 11:30 a.m., caused heavy traffic jams in the streets around the IISIP campus, particularly on Jl. Raya Lenteng Agung, for three hours.

Police said seven automobiles were damaged, two students were detained and six other students suffered minor injuries, one a broken leg.

Police and military officers, in riot gear, were deployed to stop stone-throwing ISTN students.

Another eyewitness said the brawl began when an unidentified disembarking IISIP student shoved two ISTN students when the two were getting on a bus in front of the IISIP campus.

"The two fell down but in fact he did not do it on purpose. The bus was moving in a hurry and so the passengers had to get on quickly," he said.

Offended, the two immediately grabbed and knocked the student around in front of other IISIP students, who then ganged up on the two. The two then ran back to ISTN to get help from their classmates.

An hour later, the two students arrived with dozens of their friends and began destroying everything in their path in IISIP's parking area.

They rode a public minibus, a Kopaja 606, plying the route from Srengseng Sawah to the Blok M bus terminal, both in South Jakarta, to attack the IISIP.

"They came here and stepped on my car," Yudi, an IISIP student, was quoted by Republika as saying.

Police sources were not available for comment yesterday.

Lt. Col. Priyo Handoko, the South Jakarta military commandant, was at the scene. (09)