APSN Banner

Indonesian police, students clash in West

Reuters - March 19, 1998

Jakarta – Indonesian police and students clashed in the West Java city of Bandung as security forces sought to prevent campus protests against the government spilling onto the streets, the Kompas newspaper reported on Thursday.

About 100 students from the Indonesian Cooperatives Institute (Ikopin) at Jatinangor were beaten back by around 150 riot police as they tried to leave the campus grounds during a protest on Wednesday, the report said.

The students had earlier tried to negotiate with security forces to march off campus, it said.

"More than 10 students received bruises on their hands and backs as a result of being hit and trodden on, however none were treated in hospital," the report said.

The paper also reported that one student was hurt by security forces in a protest at the University of March 11th (UNS) in the Central Java town of Solo on Tuesday was still in hospital.

Brief clashes have also taken place in the national capital Jakarta and the city of Surabaya in East Java as students tried to leave their campuses in protest rallies.

A 25-day ban on street protest imposed around the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) session expired on Wednesday and students from a number of universities on Java were planning more protests on Thursday.

The MPR session ended last week after electing President Suharto to a seventh five-year term.

Many of the protests have been anti-government in tone calling for political and economic reform, including an end to Suharto's 32-year rule.

Armed forces commander General Wiranto said last week the military supported dialogue with the students but did not want unruly and disruptive street protests.

"The armed forces (ABRI) have opened the door and made the invitation. We are now designing an effective way to have a dialogue with the students," Kompas quoted Wiranto as saying on Wednesday.