Jakarta. Police in Jakarta vowed to take firm action against protesters who engaged in violence as massive rallies on Tuesday by public transport and taxi drivers against the presence of app-based transportation services turned into chaos.
Some of the demonstrators swept the streets and attacked taxis which were still operating, forcing the drivers to join the rallies.
The rallies took place at a number of locations including Cempaka Putih in Central Jakarta, Slipi in West Jakarta and Cawang in East Jakarta with reports that two taxis had been damaged, police said.
"We are still digging deeper into the incidents," Sr. Comr. Mohammad Iqbal, spokesman for the Jakarta Police, said on Tuesday. "The principle is that we will surely move against those who engaged in illegal acts."
The rallies, which were joined by up to 10,000 protesters, began at 9 a.m. at the House of Representatives complex on Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta, before heading to the Communications Ministry office on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta.
Police have deployed up to 6,000 personnel to the two locations, while security around the State Palace and City Hall, in the same area as the Communications Ministry office, will be increased.
"Our officers are on guard there," Iqbal added. "Their field coordinators have also called on the participants not to commit violent acts."
Tuesday's massive rallies come a week after the government allowed the app-based transportation services, Uber and Grab, to operate as a cooperative.
The management of Blue Bird, meanwhile, said it will also take firm actions against their drivers who were involved in violence during the rallies, local media reported.
"The Blue Bird management deplores today's demonstration which was tainted by anarchic acts by several protesters," it said on Tuesday.
Blue Bird called on the public to report the complicity of their drivers in violent acts through its Twitter account @bluebirdgroup and its email email@example.com.