Police, army vow to punish personnel over ATM brawl

Police, army vow to punish personnel over ATM brawl
The Central Java Police and the Army have pledged to punish their respective personnel who were involved in Sunday’s clash at the headquarters of the Central Java Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) base in Semarang.
PHOTO: AFP

The Central Java Police and the Army have pledged to punish their respective personnel who were involved in Sunday's clash at the headquarters of the Central Java Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) base in Semarang.

A crowd of around 200 people, believed to be personnel from the Army's Aviation Center (Penerbad), attacked the Central Java police's Brimob base on Jl. Kumudasmoro, Gisikdrono, West Semarang, early on Sunday an hour or two after several Brimob and Penerbad members had become embroiled in an altercation, apparently over access to an ATM.

The raiders, who were armed with rifles, threw rocks and blocks of wood at the Brimob base. They also attacked two Brimob members who were about to leave the base.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Central Java Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Liliek Darmanto said both the police and the Army had agreed to settle the case.

"The clash was just a minor issue and there's no need to blow it up," he said.

Liliek added that the two institutions would punish any personnel who were involved in the incident.

"We have agreed to impose sanctions on those involved in the incident in line with the regulations of the respective units," he said, without elaborating on the nature of the sanctions that would be imposed.

The Jakarta Post has learned that Sunday's incident was triggered by a trivial dispute involving Penerbad and Brimob members at an ATM on Jl. Abdulrahman Saleh, Semarang.

At 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, two Penerbad members, identified only as Chief Pvt. AP and Second Pvt. RP, went to the ATM. RP was in the ATM booth when five Brimob members began queuing behind him.

The Brimob members accused RP of taking too long and a quarrel ensued in which a Brimob officer hit RP on the head with a helmet causing an injury. The other Brimob members then set upon and beat AP.

An hour later the soldiers' comrades went looking for the five Brimob members but failed to locate them.

By 2 a.m. around 200 Penerbad members had gathered at the Brimob base, arriving on motorcycles and in cars and armed with rocks, batons and rifles.

Local residents said they heard an announcement from inside the Brimob base ordering all officers in the base to assemble. They also heard three warning shots.

An escalation of the clash was prevented when National Police and Army top brass arrived on the scene.

Separately, Semarang City Police chief Sr. Comr. Burhanuddin said no criminal report had been filed with regard to the incident.

"The incident was just due to miscommunication and has been settled," he said.

 

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