Jakarta Police fired tear gas outside a political science university in South Jakarta during the early hours of Wednesday morning as scores gradually escalated a protest against the detention of several students on Anti-Corruption Day earlier in the week.
"The rally started at 12:30 a.m. and went on until 6 a.m," Jagakarsa Cmr. Herawaty said.
Police had managed to disperse the students from the main road in front of the Institute for Sociopolitical Sciences (IISIP) halfway through the night but the students regrouped by 4 a.m., leading to the more robust police response. Police fired teargas canisters into the crowd.
"At 5 a.m. the students had been pushed back into their campus," Herawaty said. "Their protest clogged traffic and may people were furious with the students for blocking the flow of cars — the congestion reached back to University of Indonesia."
The University of Indonesia campus is six kilometers south of the IISIP in the northern fringe of Depok.
Herawaty said that protesters had penned in a car belonging to state electricity company PT PLN, but that police had managed to retrieve the vehicle after the tear gas was dispatched.
South Jakarta Police Spokesman Cmr. Aswin confirmed that the students had been moved on this morning.
"Yes, there was a protest in the early hours of [Wednesday] but order is now restored" Aswin said.
Herawaty said 149 police officers had bee drafted in to secure the area, while Aswin said that the unrest was a reaction to the handling of students by the National Police."
Many university students marked Anti-Corruption Day on Monday with protests across the country, and Aswin acknowledged that several had been detained for crossing the line set by police.