Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Four people died while seven others were injured in a bloody clash in Mesuji, Lampung, the local police said on Thursday.
Mesuji Police chief Sr. Comm. Edi Purnomo said the clash happened at 2 p.m. in the Register 45 plantation area, which belongs to the Mekar Jaya Abadi Group.
"The dead victims have been identified as DI, JN, RI and RW," Edi said as quoted by kompas.com. Meanwhile, the injured victims have been treated at the Asa Medika Pematang health clinic, he added.
The police and soldiers were guarding the area.
The clash occurred when a group called Pematang Panggang Mesuji Raya attempted to occupy the area by driving heavy-duty vehicles to one of the plots of land in the area. The plot itself was owned by Yusuf, 41, one of the Mekar Jaya Abadi group members.
Soon after, residents around the forestry plantation area caught the group members in action and interrogated them, but released them afterwards. Not long after, however, people from Pematang Panggang Mesuji Raya came into the village with sharp weapons and started to attack the residents.
The motive of the attack is not yet known.
The secretary-general of the Agrarian Reform Consortium, Dewi Kartika, has called on the government to take serious action to address the agrarian conflict in Mesuji.
"So far, we haven't received any update regarding this case, but we will advocate for them [Register 45 residents] in this matter," Dewi told The Jakarta Post.
Mesuji has a long history of agrarian conflict, with dozens of farmers being killed between 2009 and 2011 in bloody clashes.