Fri, 18 Aug 2000

Two train passengers murdered in two days

BANDUNG (JP): Two passengers died in two different economy- class trains on Monday and Tuesday, forcing railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) to engage in further efforts to improve security on board its trains.

On Tuesday, a 20-year-old woman, Tri Wijayati, was found dead with severe slash wounds to her neck on the Pasundan train serving the Surabaya-Bandung route.

The alleged murderer, a 19-year-old snack seller, was arrested on Wednesday.

On Monday, passengers of the Padalarang-Cicalengka train were shocked by the murder of a man, later identified as Jojon Sarjono, a Cicalengka resident, while the train was running.

Witnesses said the employee of the Hyatt hotel in Bandung was stabbed by an unidentified man, who managed to escape. Jojon died at Hasan Sadikin General Hospital in Bandung. Police have yet to find leads in the case.

Concerning Tuesday's murder, police said that Wijayati, an employee of the well-known Kartikasari cake shop in Bandung, was killed by Riyanto Wahyudi in a lavatory on the train.

Sutarto, the victim's elder brother, told reporters at the hospital that his sister developed a stomachache after boarding the train in Gombong Station in Central Java. The two were on their way to Bandung.

"I escorted her to the lavatory several times before I heard her scream and saw a man jump out from the lavatory window," Sutarto said.

Assisted by the train's dining car staffers, he broke down the lavatory door and found his sister fatally injured with slash wounds to the neck.

At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, Kiaracondong railway station security guards arrested a teenager in blood-stained clothes and with a wound to the head.

The teenager, later identified as Riyanto Wahyudi, was followed from the time he boarded the Cibatu-Purwakarta train. Local security guards called Bandung Station officials, alerting them of the suspect.

Riyanto told the police he jumped out of the car after killing the woman, and, with broken shoulder bones and wounds to his head, he went to the Lebakrejo railway station and took the train before the security guards apprehended him in Kiaracondong.

He admitted to using a cutting knife to slash Wijayati's neck. He said he carried out the killing upon the order of Yus Benhard, the victim's former boyfriend.

"He promised me Rp 4 million for the job, and I got Rp 25,000 in a down payment."

Benhard became jealous after hearing that Wahyuni was to marry another man, Riyanto said.

Benhard is still at large.

Death penalty

Chief of the Bandung Police Sr. Supt. Alex Bambang Riatmodjo said that Riyanto violated Article 340 of the Criminal Code, and might be sentenced to death for the first degree murder he committed.

Last April, a 22-year-old woman, identified as Febriana Farida, was stabbed to death on the express Parahyangan train. Her boyfriend suffered serious wounds. Police have yet to declare a suspect in the murder.

One month later, the railway company discovered the death of Oloan Sianturi, the father of national gymnast Jonathan Sianturi, on the luxurious Argo Bromo train. The case has yet to be clarified.

Spokesman for PT KAI's Bandung office Akhmad Sujadi admitted that his company had paid less attention to security on economy- class trains.

Two days before Tuesday's killing, Gatot Wibowo, the spokesman for the railway company, said in an interview with The Jakarta Post that as many as 400 security officers would be deployed at 10 big stations in Java in an effort to improve service to passengers.

A large number of students from Islamic boarding schools have been voluntarily helping PT KAI security guards to protect train passengers from possible crime at the stations. (25/sur)