Jakarta – The National Police on Monday deployed around 7,500 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers to ensure public safety and security in Jakarta amid continuing protests against the newly passed Job Creation Law, or omnibus law.
Several groups, including the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), went ahead with their planned demonstrations on Tuesday in Jakarta to demand that the government revoke the omnibus law.
"The first deployment of [Brimob officers] arrived in Jakarta on Oct. 5, while the second arrived on Oct. 12. At least 7,500 officers are deployed here," National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
The police also deployed 200 Brimob officers to West Java.
Awi added that a joint force of 9,332 policemen, soldiers and Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers had been deployed in the capital on Tuesday to enforce security.
While Tuesday's protest in Jakarta involved several religious groups, the country's second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, reasserted that it would not take part in any demonstrations. Instead, it would "focus on handling the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on education, the economy and public health", Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Mu'ti said on Monday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Widespread protests erupted across the country after the House of Representatives passed the bill on Oct. 5.
Some protests, however, have been marred by violent clashes between protesters and security forces.
Meanwhile, civil society organizations have slammed the police for using "excessive force" in managing the demonstrations as pictures of police assaulting protesters and journalists circulated on social media.
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) said it had received at least 1,500 reports on alleged police violence from Oct. 6 to 8 during the planned national strike against the new law, organized primarily by labor unions. (trn)