Student protest against fuel price hikes in Yogya ends in clash with police

Source – November 19, 2014
Students protest against fuel price hikes in Yogyakarta - November 19, 2014 (Merdeka)
Students protest against fuel price hikes in Yogyakarta - November 19, 2014 (Merdeka)

Kresna – A protest action by students against the recent fuel (BBM) price hike at the intersection in front of the Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University (UIN) campus in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Wednesday November 19 has again ended in a clash.

A clash between students and police was unavoidable after students held a long-march in an easterly direction along Jl. Adi Sucipto heading for the nearest petrol station.

The student’s were intercepted by police and a clash ensued between the two groups with students pelting the police with stones and police responding by firing teargas.

According to Merdeka’s observations, the clash occurred at around 3pm. After being beaten back by police, the students were then involved in a clash with local residents who were annoyed with their anarchic behaviour. Residents then pelted the students with stones.

According to Suratno, a resident living in the vicinity of the incident, they were angry because the students behaved in an anarchic manner and caused traffic congestion. “There were stones being thrown and it was anarchic, the road also became congested”, he said.

Soon after the situation calmed down, another stone throwing incident occurred. Based on information gathered, one of the students was rushed to hospital suffering head injuries. Police also arrested three students for allegedly being the provocateurs of the riot.

Meanwhile Yogyakarta regional police public relations chief Assistant Superintendent Anny Pujiastuti said that police would act firmly against such anarchy. They gave the students until 6pm to disband. “If by 6pm they are still protesting we will forcibly break up [the demonstration]”, he said. [mtf]

[Translated by James Balowski.]