Antara, Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – A police office in Ciracas, East Jakarta came under attack by more than 100 people early on Saturday and investigation revealed that a soldier was responsible for the vandalism.
It was the second time in recent years the Ciracas police office was vandalized by soldiers.
The mob attacked two policemen on their way to the scene and then smashed glass windows at the office and burned two cars including one belonging to the Ciracas police chief, a spokesman for the Jakarta Police said.
The Indonesian Military deployed personnel to help secure the scene at the aftermath of the attack and was involved in the joint investigation.
A soldier identified by initials Private M.I. has incited his colleagues to commit the acts of vandalism but it remains unclear what his motive is, according to Major General Dudung Abdurachman, the chief of the Jakarta Regional Military Command.
He said the soldier used his cellphone to inform colleagues from the class of 2017 that he became a victim of a mob attack and that his attackers were being held by the police.
But investigation at the scene and accounts from nine civilian witnesses indicated that M.I. has made a false claim, Dudung said.
He said M.I. got injured in a motorcycle accident on Jalan Kelapa Dua, Ciracas and it was caught by a security camera at a nearby store.
"On the 37th minute of the footage, M.I. could be seen falling off his motorcycle around the corner of the street. No one, let alone a group of people, has come to hit him," Dudung told a news conference at the military headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta.
"Information circulating on social media said he was attacked by a group of people and there were words that fueled anger among fellow soldiers and prompted them to commit vandalism," he said.
At least six soldiers are being interrogated by the Military Police for their role in the attack, he said.
In December 2018, the same police office was attacked by soldiers after their colleague was attacked by two men a day earlier. They directed anger at the police who they said had done nothing against the attackers.