Army Chief of Staff General Andika Perkasa, speaks in a press conference at the army headquarters in Central Jakarta on August 30, 2020. He offers an apology for an attack at a police station in East Jakarta by soldiers. (Beritasatu Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

Army Chief Apologizes after Soldiers Attack Police Station


AUGUST 30, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesian Army Chief of Staff General Andika Perkasa offered his apology on Sunday after investigations revealed that a soldier had provoked an attack on a police station in Ciracas, East Jakarta.

Around 100 people, many of them believed to be soldiers, vandalized the police station early on Saturday over a false claim that a soldier had become a victim of mob attack and was unhappy about how the police handled his case.

They burned cars and smashed glass windows at the police station and also attacked two policemen on patrol earlier during their way to the police station.

"The Army apologizes for the incident that caused damages on innocent civilians and members of the police," Andika told a news conference at the army headquarters in Central Jakarta.

He promised that soldiers involved in the attack will be brought to a court martial and dismissed from the Army. They will be forced to compensate the property damages and pay medical costs of the injured victims, he said.

“We will find a way so that they will repay,” he said.

At least 12 soldiers are being detained at the Military Police facility in Guntur, South Jakarta.

Andika said 19 others have been summoned and will be detained for a questioning.

The key suspect in the case has been identified as Private M.I., who is being treated at a hospital. Earlier investigations revealed that he was injured after falling off his motorcycle in East Jakarta and the accident was caught by a security camera at the scene.

But M.I. claimed he was attacked by a mob and provoked his colleagues to vandalize the police office.

Suasana pasca penyerangan di Polsek Ciracas, Jakarta, Sabtu, (29/8/2020). Polsek Ciracas dikabarkan diserang oleh sejumlah orang tak dikenal pada Sabtu (29/8) dini hari. ANTARA FOTO/Asprilla Dwi Adha/hp.
A car with broken windshield is parked at the Ciracas Police Station in East Jakarta on August 29, 2020. The station was vandalized by around 100 people, many of them soldiers, earlier in the day.(Antara Photo/Asprilla Dwi Adha)

"Private M.I. is certainly one of them [detainees]. He is being treated at the army hospital but soon will face a questioning,” Andika said.

"Results from the investigation indicate that all the accused have violated the Military Criminal Code and will face dishonorable discharge," Andika said.

"We’d rather lose 31 soldiers than to let irresponsible soldiers bring shame and dishonor on the Army against their oaths." 

It was not the first time the Ciracas Police Station came under attack by soldiers.

In December 2018, the police station was vandalized by soldiers after a colleague was attacked by two men a day earlier. They directed anger at the police who they said had done nothing against the attackers.