Jakarta – The Southeast Sulawesi chapter of the Indonesian Ombudsman has condemned the police's use a helicopter to disperse a student rally in front of their headquarters.
According to a kompas.com report, a police helicopter was seen flying low over a protest last Saturday, forcing the crowd to scatter to avoid flying dust and debris.
"The police have allegedly violated their operating procedures, as regulated in National Police Regulation No. 2/2009 on the handling of riots," said head of the Southeast Sulawesi ombudsman office, Mastri Susilo, on Sunday.
The ombudsman, he said, would look into the case and seek clarification from the Southeast Sulawesi police chief, Yan Sultra Indrajaya, about the matter.
Hundreds of university students reportedly staged a rally in front of the Southeast Sulawesi police headquarters last Saturday to commemorate the deaths of students La Randi and Muhammad Yusuf Qardawi.
The two students, who studied at Halu Oleo University in the province's capital in Kendari, were killed during clashes between protesters and police in front of the provincial legislative council building on Sept. 26, 2019, during a demonstration against several controversial bills under deliberation at the House of Representatives, including a revision to the Criminal Code.
Randi died at the scene after being shot in his chest, while Yusuf died the day after suffering severe head injuries.
An officer, identified AM, was named a suspect during the investigation into the incident. He was charged under Article 351 of the Criminal Code on assault, as well as articles 359 and 360 on negligence causing death, which carry a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment. The officer is still being tried at the South Jakarta District Court.
He previously underwent disciplinary hearings, with five other officers, for carrying firearms at the student protest. The six officers received a sanction of 21 days in jail, written warnings, the postponement of salary, rank promotion and were required to undertake education.
In response to last Saturday's incident, the police's internal affairs division said it was currently questioning five officers who "operated" the helicopter during the rally.
"We will see whether an ethics violation occurred after asking for clarification from the officers," said the division head, Sr. Comr. Bambang Satriawan, on Monday.
Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ferry Walintukan, meanwhile, claimed the officers took the initiative to fly the helicopter themselves, without securing permission from their superiors. (Vny)