Bogor. Inter-ethnic rivalries were at the center of a recent dispute among the city’s Sri Lankan immigrants, Cisarua police said on Thursday.
On June 18, a mob of 15 men attacked the Batulayang village home of 28-year-old Toya Karan, pelting the house with stones, Cisarua police chief, comr. Hadi Santoso said.
“One of the inhabitant of the house Ansyer, 35, was seriously injured in the head,” Hadi said.
The home, a Toyota car and a motorcycle were all damaged. The mob then moved on and threw stones at another home owned by a Tamil immigrant, Hadi said.
Toya was able to flee the home with his wife Listiawati, 20, and their eight-month-old daughter Taharani, police said.
Three men, Ishak, 34, Mauradhan, 30, and Jordan, 30, were arrested for allegedly inciting the violence, Hadi said.
The conflict — between Bengali and Tamil immigrants — was sparked by feelings of jealousy, said Hendayan, head of the subdistrict law and order office.
The mob was made up of Sri Lankan nationals of Bengali decent, according to police.
And Toya, his housemates and neighbors, were all Tamil, an ethnic minority hit hardest during Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war between Tamil rebels and Sinhalese armed forces.
“According to local residents, the conflict stems from social jealousy, with the members of the Bengali community thinking that the Tamil were living more prosperously,” said Hendayan, head of the subdistrict law and order office.
The immigrants live in Cisarua, a section of Bogor with a large community of South and Central Asian asylum seekers living under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The incident has prompted Bogor’s immigration office to conduct stricter supervision of the city’s Sri Lankan community, Bambang Catur, head of the Bogor immigration office, said.
“We are currently checking the documents of those Sri Lankans but most hold UNHCR documents. In the future, we will supervise them and re-register them,” Bambang said.
If the three men are found guilty of inciting mob violence, they could face deportation, Bambang said.