Indonesian police arrest 62 over Ramadan bar attack

Indonesian police said Monday they have arrested 62 people, most of them minors, involved in attacking a bar in south Jakarta for serving alcohol during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

A group of 150 youths -- some as young as 13 and carrying swords and golf clubs -- raided the De Most bar late Saturday, smashing bottles of alcoholic drinks and damaging the property, said Hermawan, chief detective for South Jakarta police.

"Of the 62 arrested most are minors, and some... were armed with Samurai swords, sickles and golf clubs," said Hermawan, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"They shattered the windows and door and smashed bottles, saying they wanted all bars shut to ensure the month of Ramadan is not tainted," he added.

Twenty-three people face charges of damaging property while four are additionally charged with carrying sharp weapons.

The group called itself the Prophet's Defenders Council, Hermawan said.

"It is usual for me and my followers to raid sinful places during Ramadan," the group's alleged leader, 33-year-old Habib Bahar was quoted as saying by the Kompas.com news website after the arrests.

"They commit sins there. They get drunk so action must be taken," said Bahar, who was among the arrested.

A bar staff member said the attackers, some of them wearing white trousers and matching skull caps, arrived on motorcycles and shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greater) as they entered the bar and forced guests to leave.

"There was a live band playing (traditional) dangdut music and some of us were dancing. They said this is a sinful place, before smashing the glasses and beer bottles," the bar's operational manager Pariah, 37, told AFP.

"It was very frightening as they were armed with sticks, machetes, swords. Some of the female staff took off their high-heel shoes and ran helter-skelter. We thought they were going to kill us," she said.

In previous years Islamic groups have raided places serving alcohol, but Saturday's attack was the first this year since the fasting month of Ramadan officially began on July 21.

Authorities have ordered bars and nightclubs to close during the holy month, but the ban is not strictly enforced.

Ninety percent of Indonesia's population of 240 million identify themselves as Muslim but the vast majority practise a moderate form of Islam.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

  • No apology, but Noy seeks understanding
    No apology, but Noy seeks understanding

    There was no apology, but President Aquino yesterday expressed regret, took “full responsibility” and appealed to the nation for “deepest understanding” for the Jan. 25 Mamasapano raid in which dozens died, including 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. “To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation, it is with abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding,” Aquino said in a speech before the 246 new graduates of …

  • MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician
    MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician

    Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is grateful for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s praise and presidential endorsement, but says he is not a politician. In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the search for The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines 2015 Wednesday night, Pangilinan dismissed the idea of running for president in the 2016 elections. “I’m not a politician, I’m just an ordinary business person,” he added. Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as a presidential candidate …

  • No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP
    No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not suspending its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf, New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless groups during the Holy Week, an official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP public affairs office chief, said the AFP leadership is leaving it up to area and division commanders whether to raise the alert status in preparation for the Holy Week. Those deployed in areas where there are ongoing law enforcement operations against terrorist groups …

  • Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP
    Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP

    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to investigate a human rights lawyer’s claim of harassment, including surveillance, by several military officers. In a 22-page decision, the former Special Sixth Division of the appellate court granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data of Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon. The CA ordered the AFP to identify the officers behind the surveillance and file charges against them. The CA ruling said …

  • Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP
    Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP

    President Aquino vowed yesterday to dismantle the culture of factionalism or the bata-bata system within the Philippine National Police as he continued the search for the next PNP chief. Speaking at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) commencement exercises here, the President said the country needed solidarity among leaders and members of the police force so that the policemen would be effective protectors of Filipinos. “Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: …

  • Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl
    Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl

    Retire and invest in real estate in the Philippines, especially now that the country has made it to the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. This is the message being spread by the Philippine embassy in Washington, with Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. leading the refrain in meetings with various Filipino-American communities in the US. In his talks, Cuisia said that an affordable cost of living as well as warm climate and people are just some of the things that make the Philippines a top …

  • PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson
    PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson

    The stigma of being a namesake of the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre did not prevent Cadet First Class Andal Ampatuan III from entering and graduating from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). Ampatuan III, now with a rank of police inspector, is a grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. The younger Ampatuan was among the 246 graduates of the PNPA “Lakandula” Class of 2015. Ampatuan III’s mother is Bai Rebecca Ampatuan, a daughter of the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options