JAKARTA: Six people have been killed and 200 injured during mass rallies in Jakarta against the re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Indonesian police confirmed the death toll based on reports from hospitals. They said the cause of the deaths was being investigated. The national police chief has denied his officers used live ammunition. Police fired tear gas at protesters when clashes broke out again in the capital on Wednesday. Protesters hurled fireworks and rocks at police during a stand-off near the election supervisory agency, while clashes also restarted in other areas of the city. Social media has been restricted in some areas to stop rumours spreading.
The protests erupted after official election results showed Mr Widodo had beaten his long-time rival Prabowo Subianto at the polls last month. National police chief Tito Karnavian said some of the six dead appeared to have gunshot wounds and others “blunt force wounds”.
The authorities have said the protests were planned and “not spontaneous”. They have suggested that a group of provocateurs may have been responsible for the violence. “A majority of the protesters came from outside of Jakarta,” said Muhammed Iqbal, a police spokesman. President Widodo has promised firm action against rioters.
“I open myself to anyone to work together to build and develop this nation, but I won’t tolerate anyone who tries to disrupt public security, the democratic process or the unity of our… country,” the president said at a press briefing.