Jakarta – A group of allegedly illegal miners are being accused of attacking Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers during a raid on a tin mining area in Sijuk village on Belitung Island on Saturday.
The incident started when Bangka Belitung Deputy Governor Abdul Fatah and Satpol PP officers went to the area and began dismantling and burning illegal mining equipment.
However, men presumed to be illegal miners allegedly attacked the officers, forcing some of them to hide in a nearby mangrove forest. The miners are accused of then breaking the windows of two Satpol PP trucks and seven cars, including the one ridden used by Abdul.
Police report that the deputy governor and his entourage were taken to see the broken equipment and that demands for compensation were made of them.
The police said they eventually rescued Abdul and his team and brought them to the Sijuk Police station.
Bangka Belitung Governor Erzaldi Rosman said a number of Satpol PP officers sustained injuries to their heads and bodies because of the attack.
"This is a proof that our efforts in managing mining often face hurdles and difficulties," Erzaldi said on Saturday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Belitung Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Yudhis Wibisana said he regretted that Abdul and the Satpol PP did not coordinate the raid with the police and the military in advance.
"It is like [the administration] is playing hide and seek with us," Yudhis said, as quoted by tribunnews.com. "It's disappointing."
Yudhis, along with Military District Command (Dandim) 0414/Belitung commander Lt. Col. Indra Padang, mediated between Abdul, Satpol PP and the representatives of Sijuk village later that day.