Owner of bookshop selling ‘communist’ books says he ‘felt like a criminal’

Detik News – January 10, 2019
Nagare Boshi bookshop owner Yanto Tjahaja – January 10, 2019 (Detik)
Nagare Boshi bookshop owner Yanto Tjahaja – January 10, 2019 (Detik)

Jeka Kampai, Padang – The owner of the Nagare Boshi bookshop in Padang, Yanto Tjahaja, says he has been left deeply traumatised by the raid by a team from the TNI (Indonesian military) and the Padang public prosecutor’s office who seized books deemed to contain ‘communist’ ideas from his place of business on Tuesday January 8.

“My wife and I are still traumatised. Never before have security personnel come to our [bookshop] like that. It was as if we were criminals”, Tjahaja told Detik.com on Thursday January 10.

According to Tjahaja, following the raid lots of stories flew around social media many of which tended to paint them in a bad light.

“That’s what we regret. There were lots of, all kinds of reports. The Danramil [District Military Command commander] said that the contents of the books were different from the titles or covers. So the impression was as if we had changed the books’ content”, he said.

“It’s quite legal to sell these books. All of the books that we sell are sold in other bookshops. It hit us hard psychologically, as if we were criminals”, he continued.

Tjahaja said that he plans to close the shop. “We’re trying to stay calm. [But] our psychological well-being has been hit hard”, Tjahaja said once again.

Following the raid they have decided to return the books to the publishers. “Most of these books are on loan [from the publishers] and will be returned. We want to take a break”, added Tjahaja’s wife Yessy.

Tjahaja, his wife and a bookshop employee could be seen packing up and boxing the books. “We’ll return them. And we’ll hold a sale for others so they’re sold quickly”, added Yessy.

On the afternoon of Tuesday January 8 a team from the District Military Command (Kodim) and the Padang state prosecutor’s office seized a number of books from the Nagare Boshi bookshop in the Pecinan Pondok are of West Padang which they deemed to be spreading communist ideas.

Five book titles were taken totalling eight books in all. The seized books were titled: Chronicle 65’ (Kronik ‘65), Targeting the Big Brother: Seven Assassination Attempts against the President (Mengincar Bung Besar: Tujuh Upaya Pembunuhan Presiden), Red Coat (Jas Merah), Children of the Revolution (Anak-anak Revolusi) and The 1965 September 30 Movement: The PKI, Aidit, Sukarno and Soeharto (Gestapu 65: PKI, Aidit, Sukarno dan Soeharto).

“We will secure them first, because there are elements of the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party] here. The PKI is clearly banned”, said North-West Padang District Military Command 01 commander Infantry Major Parningotan Simbolon. (asp/asp)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Dirazia TNI-Jaksa, Pemilik Toko Buku: Seolah-olah Kami Kriminal”.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/4379307/dirazia-tni-jaksa-pemilik-toko-buku-seolah-olah-kami-kriminal