Masses Burn Down Mesuji Regent's Office
Friday, 04 May, 2012 | 14:26 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Lampung:Hundreds of Mesuji regent Ismail Ishak's
supporters ran amok and burned the regent's office to the ground at around 11.35 am on May 3, 2012. The mass, dissatisfied with the Home Ministry's decree dismissing Ismail from the position, also damaged the government offices.
The crowd mostly consisting of Ismail's family members had been occupying the office complex in Brabasan, Mesuji since 4 days earlier. The group carrying sharp weapons and bats freely carried out their action given the absence of security forces on site.
Ismail's supporters are still occupying the Mesuji regional government office complex. They claim that they have been manipulated by Home Minister with the swearing-in done in jail followed by the dismissal a week later. “They've toyed with our self esteem. The dismissal is not legal and violates the law,” protested Nurhamid, one of the supporters.
Ismail Ishak, along with Khamamik, indeed was sworn in as elected regional head in the Menggala Penitentiary Institution. Ishak was serving 1,5 month sentence after being convicted for corruption of funds belonging to Tulangbawang regional government-owned enterprise board. "If they want to dismiss, why swearing him in in the first place. It shows Home Affairs Minister violates the regulation. We demand the cancellation of the dismissal decree.” he said.
Khamamik, the current regent elected less than a month ago, could not be contacted. It is said that at the time of the mass rampage, Khamamik, together with 43 village heads, were trying to see Lampung Governor, to resolve the issue that has crippled activities in the office complex in the past 4 days.
Meanwhile, hundreds of security officers from Tulangbawang resort police precinct have been deployed to secure the location. "We are trying to contain the riots from spreading. The location is quite far.” said Head of Lampung Police's Public Relations Adjutant Senior Commissioner Sulistyaningsih.
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