Traumatized Satpol Officers Fear Return to Work
A number of traumatized Public Order Agency officers are too scared to again wear their uniforms in public following last week’s carnage in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta.
West Jakarta Mayor Sukarno said a number of the officers from the agency, also known as Satpol PP, had told him during a briefing on Tuesday that they feared reprisals over the violence, including from members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
Three Satpol officers were brutally beaten to death and another 140 injured by an enraged mob of attackers armed with clubs, sickles, stones and Molotov cocktails. The violence, triggered over alleged attempts by the officers to remove a sacred tomb containing the body of Mbah Priok from the port area, also caused Rp 22.95 billion ($2.5 million) in damage.
Sukarno said he encouraged the Satpol officers to put on their uniforms and return to work ridding the streets of illegal vendors and the slums of illegal squatters.
He added that he hoped they would be able to recover mentally as soon as was possible.
The briefing was also attended by Hasanudin Al Bantani, a member of the FPI’s advisory board, who promised to guarantee the safety of the officers.
The worst violence in Jakarta since 1998, has again thrust the activities of hard-line organizations such as the FPI and Betawi Brotherhood Forum into the public spotlight.
The heirs of Mbah Priok have asked both the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) to participate in appraising the restoration plans that port operator PT Pelindo II has drawn up for the area around the tomb.