Vehicles Torched in W. Jakarta Eviction Row

A bus and three motorcycles were burned during a violent land dispute in West Jakarta on Friday.

The clash erupted when a group of men arrived at Jalan Arjuna Raya in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, and attempted to evict a kampung of 300 families that had been illegally squatting on the land, some of them since 2008.

The smaller eviction force immediately met with resistance from residents of Kampung Guji and was driven off.

“They came with two buses, four motorcycles and one car,” said Sugandi, who witnessed the clash. “They fought directly.”

Angry residents proceeded to torch one of the buses and three of the motorcycles that the eviction force had arrived on.

Emergency fire teams and police were called in to extinguish the blaze and restore order. Police also arrested a man alleged to have led the kampung residents

“The coordinator that brought the mob, namely Jayadi, has been taken to the police office,” West Jakarta Police Chief Setija Junianta said.

Syamsul Huda, chief of the surrounding Duri Kepa urban ward, said that the 4,000 square meter plot of land had been claimed by the residents since 2008, and expressed hope that a peaceful solution could be found.

“They should be discussing it in a good manner to find the solution,” Syamsul said. “We just hope the residents could think clearly and prevent clashes.

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