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Demonstrators in Medan demand Bachtiar be sacked

Detik.com - May 5, 2004

Khairul Ikhwan, Medan Calls for President Megawati Sukarnoputri to sack Indonesian chief of police General Dai Bachtiar have been raised again. [This time] the demands were made by two groups of demonstrators in an action held at the North Sumatra parliament on Jalan Imam Bonjol in the provincial capital of Medan on Wednesday May 5.

The first action was organised by 250 Student Executive Council activists from various universities in North Sumatra. The demonstrators, who started the action at 1pm, came from the North Sumatra State Islamic Institute of Religion, the North Sumatra Muhammadiyah University and the North Sumatra Islamic University.

During the action they called for Bachtiar to be sacked because of his incompetence in handling the attack by police [on student demonstrators on May 1 in which as many as 60 students were wounded] at the Indonesia Muslim University (UMI) in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar. They said that Bachtiar had also failed [in his duties] because he had allowed his subordinates to resort to violence in carrying out their duties.

As the BEM activists were still demonstrating, 150 demonstrators from the North Sumatra Indonesian Mujahidin Council arrived. In their action they also condemned the UMI incident.

However the main aim of their action was to condemn the actions of police in re-arresting [Muslim cleric and terrorist suspect] Abu Bakar Bashir. They said that the police had been contaminated by the interest of the United States and Jews. They therefore demanded that the president sack Bachtiar. (gtp)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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