MAC: Mines and Communities

Indonesia: Protesters set Bima Regency office on fire

Published by MAC on 2012-01-31
Source: Jakarta Post (2012-01-26)

Protesters set Bima Regency office on fire

The Jakarta Post

26 January 2012

Thousands of locals staged a protest at the Bima Regency office on Thursday demanding the local administration revoke the mining permit of PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara and release 56 villagers detained following a demonstration at Sape port on Dec. 24, 2011.

People storm the Bima Regency office compound before burning the office
People storm the Bima Regency office compound before burning
the office. Source - Antara/Rinby, Jakarta Post

Bima Regent Ferry Zulkarnaen has temporarily revoked the permit for exploration activities in Sape, Lambu and Langgudu districts, covering an area of 24,980 hectares.

The protesters, believed to reach ten thousand people in the three districts, later set the office on fire after breaking through a police barricade blocking them from entering the compound. The mob also forced the release of 53 prisoners from the Raba penitentiary.

"The people threatened to burn down the penitentiary if the 53 people detained in relation with the Dec. 24 riot were not released," an eyewitness, Didin, told Antara newswire on Thursday.

In Jakarta, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono instructed related institutions to stop the destructive protest in Bima.

"The President has ordered the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister and the national police to prevent further destruction from happening," said Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha as quoted by Antara.

Meanwhile, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said the police would investigate the incident and act against those who were proven to have violated laws.

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