Police told to stay away from agrarian conflict [Indonesia]
The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has urged the National Police to keep its distance from agrarian conflicts between local people and the state-owned plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara.
The involvement of police officers in these conflicts will worsen the situation, sometimes causing violence and often claiming lives, according to Walhi’s activist Ahmad S.H.
The latest incident in Limbung Jaya, South Sumatra, in which one person was killed and four others injured was a clear example.
“The police don’t know anything about agrarian conflicts and they tend to defend only the wealthy side,” he said at an event attended by victims of an agrarian conflict involving PTPN VII Cinta Manis and Ogan Ilir residents, including those from Limbung Jaya, Betung and Sri Bandung in South Sumatra.
A Limbung Jaya resident, Farida, 44, said she was shot in her arm while she rushed to the mosque from her house during the raid.
While showing a bullet to reporters, Farida said she realized that she had been shot only after arriving home.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Anang Iskandar said the police investigative team had found cartridges near the location of the clash between residents and Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers.
Walhi’s South Sumatra branch director, Anwar Sadat, said the police, especially Brimob, had been treating the local residents badly since they started to fight for land allegedly taken by PTPN VII Cinta Manis. -- The Hakarta Post, Aug. 2, 2012