Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) is set to dismiss its personnel found to have been involved in a recent attack on the Ciracas Police station in East Jakarta, Army chief of staff Gen. Andika Perkasa has said.
A mob reportedly comprising TNI personnel burned down two vehicles at the police station and vandalized nearby stores along Jl. Raya Bogor on Saturday. Authorities believe the attack was triggered by misinformation. Two police personnel were injured in the attack.
The Military Police have questioned 31 TNI personnel as part of the investigation into the incident, including a low-ranking soldier identified as Second Pvt. MI, who was allegedly the provocateur of the attack, Andika said.
Twelve have been detained at the Jakarta Military Command Police in Central Jakarta, while 19 others were sent to other detention centers belonging to the Army after being questioned, he said.
"The results of the investigation so far show that all the questioned personnel could face dismissal, as mandated in the Military Criminal Code," Andika said on Sunday.
The four-star general further explained that each officer involved in the incident would be charged under different articles of the Military Criminal Code.
"It's better to lose 31 or any number of personnel who were involved in the attack rather than have the TNI's reputation tarnished by irresponsible actions that do not represent the vows of the Indonesian Military," he said.
Andika also ensured that all charged personnel would compensate the victims for any injuries and losses they suffered.
"There would be a mechanism that ensures they pay for the damages. The Jakarta Military commander [Maj. Gen. Dudung Abdurachman] will calculate the damages caused by the incident and he will report it to me."
According to the TNI, the incident started after Second Pvt. MI was caught in a single-vehicle crash at the Arundina three-road junction in Ciracas on Friday.
MI allegedly told 27 of his fellow officers that he had been physically beaten by the Ciracas Police, fueling their anger and instigating them to attack the Ciracas Police station.
However, TNI Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said on Sunday that based on the testimonies of witnesses and CCTV footage, MI had sustained injuries "from the single-vehicle accident, not from a physical attack", kompas.com reported.
Saturday's incident was not the first to have happened at the Ciracas Police station and it also came in the wake of a series of clashes involving military and police personnel in the past years.
In 2018, dozens of TNI personnel reportedly ransacked and burned down part of the police station on Dec. 13, damaging police vehicles and leaving several officers and reporters injured. The attack was allegedly triggered by the mob's disappointment over the police's handling of an assault on TNI personnel in Ciracas.
In February, some TNI personnel also attacked a police station in North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, following a traffic dispute.
In September 2019, the two security forces in separate locations were involved in multiple clashes during mass protests. Police officers allegedly fired tear gas at TNI personnel and the two forces were seen involved in a verbal battle among protesters, causing speculation of the ever-increasing dispute between the two. (trn)