Suherdjoko, Semarang – Dozens of teenagers have been arrested for engaging in a sarung fight, a typical Ramadan pastime for adolescents, in various areas in Central Java.
Eight teenagers, aged 16 to 19, were arrested in Kembaran, Banyumas regency, on Sunday and were made to sign a statement not to repeat the action by Kembaran Police.
In Cilacap regency, 21 teenagers were arrested and their parents summoned by the local police on Friday. On the same day, 13 teenagers were arrested in Purworejo regency.
For the fights, they tie one end of the sarung to create a bundle, so as to be used as a flail. The fight becomes dangerous as teenagers increasingly fill the bundle with rocks.
Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Ahmad Luthfi is calling for people to refrain from engaging in such fights.
"We want the fasting month of Ramadan to be in order, safe and peaceful," Luthfi said.
Provincial police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Iqbal Alqudussy warned that participants could be criminally prosecuted for the action.
"Sarung fights are no longer typical teenage delinquency. It tends to become criminal actions. We will sternly act and prosecute if we find any criminal violations," Iqbal said. (dre)