Angry Residents Burn Down Police Station in Oksibil, Pegunungan Bintang Regency

KOTA JAYAPURA - Hundreds of residents attacked and burned down Pegunungan Bintang Police station in Oksibil, Pegunungan Bintang regency, Papua, on Sunday following a rumor that a police officer had beaten a drunk resident.

Two officers attempting to disperse the mob suffered head injuries after being pelted with stones, said Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumerta Jaya in Jayapura.

“The incident occurred at around 10:45 a.m. local time when hundreds of people attacked the police station,” Sumerta said.

“They heard a rumor that a resident named Leo Almon had been beaten by an officer [identified only as AK]. In fact, our officer tried to arrest a drunk man, but the man resisted arrest and fought with the officer,” he continued.

Leo, Sumerta said, reportedly sustained injuries that sparked anger among residents of Daboldi village in Kalomdol district, who thought Leo had been tortured by the officer.

Armed with traditional weapons, the villagers attacked the police station and set it ablaze. The mob also damaged two police cars and 25 motorcycles.

Papua Police, he went on, plan to deploy additional personnel to restore order in Oksibil, the regency’s capital, and form a team to investigate the main cause of the incident.

The incident has left residents of Oksibil fearful to leave their homes. “We choose to stay behind closed doors. We saw a mob on the streets carrying machetes and arrows,” said Markus, a resident, over the phone. “We also heard gunshots, probably fired by officers who were attempting to disperse the mob,” he added.

Cenderawasih Military Command spokesman Col. Jansen Simanjuntak voiced concern over the incident.

“We suspect somebody is trying to provoke local residents, to make them angry,” Jansen told.

In July 2007, the Pegunungan Bintang Police station was damaged by angry residents following the death of a civil servant named Denis Kasibmabin, who had been taken into custody for drunk and disorderly behavior.

Denis’s family suspected he had been beaten by police officers, which angered local residents who later attacked the station.

Situated about 90 minutes by plane from Papua’s capital of Jayapura, Pegunungan Bintang, which has a population of 113,000, is considered one the province’s security flash points due to its proximity to Papua New Guinea (PNG), which it shares a border with.

Like other isolated regencies in Papua, prices of goods in Pegunungan Bintang are exorbitant. The regency’s development fund is often depleted through covering the cost of airline services, which link the regency to the outside world. About 40 percent of the regency’s budget, about Rp 600 billion (US$61.63 million), has been used to subsidize transportation costs. [TheJakartaPost| Kompas]
Bagikan ke Google Plus


Post a Comment