Jakarta – Students and police were again involved in a clash in front of the regional police headquarters on Monday October 28. The clash broke out when students were holding a protest action to commemorate Youth Pledge Day in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi.
One of the student's demands was that the police fully investigate the fatal shooting of two students, Randi and Muhammad Yusuf Kardawi, who were killed during protest actions in Kendari one month ago. They also urged police to arrest those responsible for shooting the students.
The demonstration, which initially proceeded peacefully, descended into a chaos when the students wanted to set fire to tyres. A clash was unavoidable with police and students pushing and shoving each other.
During the clash, one student was arrested and dragged into the regional police headquarters.
The situation returned to normal when student representatives and police held a dialogue. The discussions however were unable to reach an agreement and a clash broke out again.
The demonstrators pelted the police with stones and wood and the police responded by firing teargas and using a water cannon.
Although the students were driven back to the traffic circle at the Southeast Sulawesi governor's office, they continued to throw stones at the police.
The students then retreated towards the Anduonohu Tank traffic circle in the direction of the Halu Oleo Kendari University campus. As of 6 pm local time, hundreds of students were holding their ground in front of the Kendari Polytechnic.
Action coordinator Rahman said that the investigation into the two student's deaths is going nowhere. As has been reported, the investigation team recently brought six police officers who carried firearms during demonstrations before a disciplinary hearing.
"The problem is that the disciplinary hearing was only related to police ethics, and did not address the unlawful killings", said Rahman.
Rahman said that the death of the two students must be investigated as a crime. The students are convinced that the rounds that hit Randi and Muhammad Yusuf Kardawi in the chest were from a police firearm.
"It is now 30 days since the death of Randi and Yusuf. The police should have already revealed the perpetrators who shot our friends", he emphasised.
According to the students, the investigation into the student's shooting is being held up by a ballistics test which is to be done in Australian or the Netherlands. Rahman however says that the ballistics test is not the only evidence needed to uncover the perpetrators of the shooting.
"Witnesses and video recordings are sufficient evidence to charge those who shot Randi and Yusuf Kardawi", he said. (fan/ain)
On October 28, 1928, Indonesian students and youth gathered in Jakarta to declare the Youth Pledge – generally accepted as the first open declaration of Indonesian independence – which called for a united independent Indonesia under the theme of "One Nation, One People, One Language".
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Polisi-Mahasiswa Bentrok di Kendari, Batu Lawan Gas Air Mata".]