The Muslim group organizing this week's so-called 505 rally against incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama claims that it has informed the police of the plan on Tuesday (02/05). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Banten Police Urge Residents Not to Join Mass Gatherings in Jakarta on Wednesday

BY :LAURENS DAMI

APRIL 18, 2017

Jakarta. Banten Police chief Brig. Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo has called on residents of the province not to heed calls to participate in mass gatherings planned to take place during voting in Jakarta on Wednesday (19/04).

"We will implement preventive measures by advising the public not to go to Jakarta. Non-Jakarta residents do not have voting rights and the situation will be less stable with the presence of non-Jakarta residents," Listyo told Suara Pembaruan on Monday evening.

He expressed hope that the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election will proceed smoothly and peacefully.

"We will assist Jakarta residents to conduct the regional election peacefully, as we send prayers from our region. The regional heads in Banten have also issued similar calls," Listyo said.

He added that the police would take firm action against anyone trying to travel to Jakarta on Wednesday to join mass gatherings.

"There will be inspections at control points on roads to prevent large groups of people from traveling to Jakarta," he said.

Those caught trying to travel to the capital will be ordered to return home to prevent potential conflict.

"We will issue a joint notice along with the regional military command and the Regional Leaders Forum to follow up a joint notice from the National Police, Jakarta Election Commission [KPUD] and Jakarta Election Supervisory Agency [Bawaslu]," Listyo said.

"Basically, we want the public to be safe and not get carried away with the political situation in Jakarta."

Jakarta Police previously issued a notice banning all mass gatherings planned for Wednesday in response to the so-called "Al Maidah Picnic."

The "Al Maidah Picnic" is organized by Gerakan Kemenangan Jakarta (Jakarta Victory Campaign), which shared promotional posters on social media and messaging apps in recent weeks.

The prohibition was issued in a notice signed by Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. M. Iriawan, KPUD chairman Sumarno and Bawaslu Jakarta chairwoman Mimah Susanti.

Security officials will be deployed at the 13,034 polling stations across the capital, with at least one member of the police and one from the military at each location.

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