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Indonesian police said to detain 40 students

Reuters - April 25, 1998

Jakarta – Indonesian police detained about 40 students during an anti-government protest at a university in Jakarta on Saturday, local journalists reported.

The 40 were taken into custody when police blocked about 500 students from taking their protest outside the campus of the Ibnu Chaldun University in East Jakarta.

The Jakarta Post said on Saturday that students in the north Sumatran regional capital of Medan earlier this week had hurled molotov cocktails and stones at police, who retaliated with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Demonstrations were reported from several other centres on Friday but there were no immediate accounts of other street protests on Saturday outside Jakarta.

Eyewitnesses said the Ibnu Chaldun University students were still being held several hours after the protest but it was not known if any had been charged.

The Jakarta Post said one student was shot and seriously injured by the police during the Medan demonstration on Wednesday.

It said two other students were missing following the clash in which police prevented about 1,000 students at St Thomas Catholic University from leaving their campus. "This was the most violent demonstration here in the last few months," it quoted a student as saying.

Thousands of students from various universities were reported to have marched peacefully through the streets of the South Sulawesi island capital of Ujung Pandang after Friday Moslem prayers.

The province's military commander, Major-General Agum Gumelar, was the only security chief to allow street marches. "Although their activity has not abated, their demonstrations have remained tolerable, secure and under control," the official Antara news agency quoted him as saying. "Their demands to lower prices and to alleviate corruption and collusion is an aspiration shared by all people."

The Jakarta Post said about 20,000 Moslem students were joined by housewives and labourers in a peaceful demonstration at Gadjah Mada University in the ancient city of Yogyakarta, a hotbed of anti-government protest.

Peaceful gatherings were reported in Indonesia's second city of Surabaya in East Java, Bandung and Manado in North Sulawesi.