Brawl occurs in Batam following oil-smuggling raid

Brawl occurs in Batam following oil-smuggling raid
Riau Islands Police chief Brig. Gen. Arman Depari (left) and local Military commander Brig. Gen. Bujang Zuirman visit on Monday a victim of Sunday’s clash involving members of the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) and soldiers in Batam. The victims have been treated at the Embung Fatimah Hospital, Batam.

The brawl between some members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police officers was allegedly triggered by an incident that took place during an attempt to raid a suspected illegal fuel-storage facility at a housing complex in Batam, Riau Islands.

Riau Islands Police chief Brig. Gen. Arman Depari said a group of police officers from the General Crime Directorate General asked for support from the National Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) to conduct a raid at the suspected location.

"When they arrived at the location it was crammed with residents, including members of the TNI. The police reportedly fired a warning shot when they were about to place a police line at the crime scene," he told The Jakarta Post at Embung Fatimah Hospital in Batam on Monday.

Arman was visiting four members of the Army from Battalion 134 Tuah Sakti who were shot by police during a brawl that happened after the attempted raid.

He said some Army members who were bothered by the presence of the Brimob during the raid later went to the Brimob's headquarters, which is located near Batallion 134 Tuah Sakti. The brawl occurred shortly after they arrived at Brimob headquarters.

Meanwhile, commander of Wira Pratama military command post (Korem) 033 Brig. Gen. Bujang Zuirman confirmed that the Army members were at the suspected fuel-smuggling location and that they were irked by the warning shots.

"Our members went to Brimob [headquarters] because they were offended by the warning shots. They aren't involved with oil smuggling," he said.

Bujang said the four members of Batallion 134 Tuah Sakti who were shot in their thighs during the brawl were chief Pvt. Eka Basri, First Pvt. Eko, First Pvt. Ari and First Pvt. Hari.

"This [brawl] was caused by a misunderstanding," he said.

The National Police and the Army both dispatched an internal investigation team to Batam. Both pledged to take stern action against the misconduct of their members.

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