Teenagers vandalise house after owner informs Jakarta governor about mass prayer

Muslims perform 'tarawih' (evening Ramadan prayer) on the eve of Ramadan at the Miftahul Jannah Mosque in East Jakarta on June 5, 2017.
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

A group of teenagers vandalised a house in Jati subdistrict, Pulogadung, East Jakarta allegedly because the owner, a man named Aselih, reported a mass tarawih (evening Ramadan prayer) at a nearby mosque to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan via social media.

A video of the assault, which shows the teenagers destroy Aselih's fence and throw firecrackers at his house, went viral on social media.

Pulogadung district head Bambang Pangestu said the attack took place on Thursday after Aselih, who lives next to the Al Watsiyah mosque, recorded a mass tarawih at the mosque and posted it on his son's Instagram account, tagging Anies' official account.

"Aselih took pictures and video footage of the mass tarawih. The teenagers found out after checking the mosque's CCTV. They were angry at his family so they decided to throw firecrackers at his house, destroy his potted plants and fence," Bambang told kompas.com on Monday.

Jakarta, the epicentreĀ of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country, has been implementing a large-scale social distancing policy (PSBB) since April 10 to curb the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, The Jakarta administration announced that the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) would be extended until May 22 as the outbreak had yet to subside.

Anies urged residents to conduct Ramadan rituals, such as tarawih, at home with their families rather than in congregations.

He also said that anyone found violating the PSBB measures, such as individuals participating in public gatherings and offices of nonessential companies remaining open, would be punished to educate the public.

Bambang said Aselih's family and the teenagers had settled the problem through mediation with local stakeholders and religious leaders.

"Aselih's son has deleted the report and locked his Instagram account. The teenagers also demanded that Aselih apologise to locals," Bambang said.

The teenagers, he said, had also been advised not to repeat their actions.

"They will be reported to the police if they carry out a similar action in the future," he said.

Bambang said he had urged all residents to comply with PSBB rules including worshipping from home.

"Before Ramadan, we had urged all residents not to perform mass tarawih. We plan to intensify our efforts [to educate residents] so such an incident doesn't occur in the future," he said.

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