Riri Rahayu, Antara, Jakarta – Head of the Batam Concession Agency (BP Batam) Muhammad Rudi suspected that there were many provocateurs who instigated clashes during the protest on Rempang Island.
"We received reports that those present at the second protest were not Rempang people," said Rudi at the Parliament Complex in Central Jakarta, on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
"For yesterday's demonstration, people need to get a permit from the police. Those who applied for the permit didn't live there (Rempang)," Rudi added.
Rudi recalled that the protest was under control until the afternoon when he received the mass. But when he left, the riot broke out. "It was fine for almost an hour. Then there were inappropriate reactions."
As widely reported, the Malay indigenous community staged a protest at the BP Batam office on Monday, resulting in chaos and damage to the office. Besides, 22 police officers were injured.
At present, the regional government is pursuing the relocation of four villages on 2,000 hectares of land to be occupied by China-based Xinyi Group, with an investment reaching Rp172.5 trillion. The relocation is expected to be completed by September 28.
Rudi said about 700 families in the four villages would be relocated to Dapur 3 Sijantung. According to him, relocation is crucial to prevent risks, especially health risks, among the residents.
The BP Batam head also stressed that he would take the opportunity to build community welfare through the development of Rempang Eco City.