A university lecturer from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture has been accused of financing a plot to petrol bomb Chinese-owned shops in Jakarta to spark a looting spree in Jakarta amid students rioting in the capital city last month.
He was arrested on September 28 for the illegal possession of what was believed to be petrol bombs.
Two Indonesian men gave statements on camera confessing they were paid to provoke raids on Chinese stores with a petrol bomb plot that would have sparked a looting spree in Jakarta.
On September 30, videos appeared on social media showing two men telling of the plot and how they were paid 300,000 rupiah (US$21) to buy petrol “to assemble Molotov cocktails.”
They said the aim was to “burn Chinese shops” in Jakarta and “provoke the masses” into a looting spree.
This would have been a repeat of the 1998 attacks on Chinese businesses in Jakarta.
They assembled a series of bombs, explosive devices with gunpowder and nails, that were to be used to burn Chinese-owned shops.
On September 30, Police made a series of raids in Tangerang, Banten arresting at least six people who are now accused of plotting to create riots in Jakarta during the weekend.
The plot was to cause a deterioration of the situation in Jakarta where demonstrators want the authorities to pull the plug on a series of controversial laws.
Police fired tear gas near Jakarta’s parliament building to break up a massive crowd throwing rocks and fireworks. The crowd was made of students protesting against amendments to the existing Penal Code and those curbing the powers of the anti-corruption agency.
The plot consisted of filling glass bottles with gunpowder and nails. The men had prepared 28 glass bottles complete with fuses. Police say based on forensic analysis, they are real bombs.
Thousands of people clashed with police in several cities across Indonesia in what observers say was the biggest street demonstration since the 1998 ‘reformasi’ movement.
After the fall of the Suharto regime, Indonesia was rocked by multiple bomb attacks by radical Islamists groups in Bali (2002) and Jakarta (2000, 2009, 2027).
Last week, the country’s authorities deployed thousands of ground troops and police officers for the new Parliament opening for the 2019-2024 sessions amid fears there will be disruptions.
The police were also on the guard against any attempts to disrupt or prevent the inauguration of President Jokowi Widodo for his second term after winning a much-contested election in April. -/TISG
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