TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The East Java Police dismissed reports of its officers having spoken a racist word while securing 43 Papuan students for allegedly throwing Indonesia's national flag into a ditch before the students' dormitory in Surabaya on August 16.
Senior Commissioner Frans Barung Mangera, spokesman of the East Java Police, clarified on Monday that the police did not use the word “monyet” (monkey) to address the students.
"(This appeal is especially addressed) to the public to please see what is happening objectively. Do not be provoked by (information) on social media and (incited) by issues that are untrue," he emphasized.
The East Java Police have yet to detain any Papuan students but protected the students from a possible clash with members of mass organizations that had protested against the national flag incident, he remarked.
On Monday morning, thousands of people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, had rallied against the alleged racist treatment targeting Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java.
Chief of the Indonesian Police Gen. Tito Karnavian confirmed in Jakarta on Monday that the situation in Papua was brought under control following the rallies.
Karnavian affirmed that he had ordered the local police to adopt necessary measures to bring the situation under control and avoid the use of excessive force.
"I have received a report from the West Papua police chief that the situation has been brought under control. I have ordered the police chiefs of Papua and West Papua to adopt security measures and avoid the use of excessive force," he remarked.