City police warn hardliners against conducting raids

City police warn hardliners against conducting raids

Newly inaugurated Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian has reiterated National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti's message warning mass organisations against raiding entertainment venues and restaurants during the forthcoming fasting month.

Previously, Badrodin had said the National Police would take firm action against mass organisations that tried to crack down on entertainment centres, restaurants or food stalls that continued operating during Ramadhan, which is expected to begin on Thursday.

Echoing Badrodin, Tito said that mass organisations had no right to conduct such enforcement, and that the authority to act fell within the duties of the city administration and the Jakarta Police.

A number of mass organisations such as the Islam Defenders' Front (FPI) have been known to conduct raids on entertainment venues, including nightclubs and discotheques, and even small food stalls. In the past some of the raids have turned violent.

"The Jakarta administration has issued a regulation on business hours for entertainment spots during Ramadhan. Only the city administration and the police have the responsibility and authority to enforce the regulation," Tito said after a meeting with city officials at City Hall on Monday.

Previously, the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency issued a letter limiting business hours for entertainment spots.

Several entertainment venues such as nightclubs, discotheques, spas, massage parlours and bars are forbidden from operating during Ramadhan. Billiard halls in such venues also may not operate.

Other kinds of entertainment venues are allowed to operate with limited business hours. Karaoke and entertainment venues with live music are allowed to operate only from 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and stand-alone billiard halls may operate from 10 a.m. until midnight.

"The Jakarta Police and the city administration will meet with owners of entertainment venues throughout the city to achieve mutual understanding of this regulation," Tito said.

Separately, Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama also called on mass organisations not to engage in acts of vigilantism against entertainment spots.

"No mass organisation has the right to carry out raids. The police and the city administration will take stern action against those who carry out raids," Ahok said, adding that he fully trusted the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) and the Jakarta Police to carry out law enforcement against unauthorized raids.

Tito said the police and the city administration would also co-operate in securing the city during Ramadhan. He said that aside from securing entertainment spots, they would also focus on food security and violent crime.

"There are a number of violent crimes that we will keep a lookout for, such as robberies and brawls between groups," Tito said.

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