Update Aug. 25: A local resident has come forward to offer his side of the story following the viral assault video, which the military previously said was an incomplete version of the incident. The resident claimed that the military’s explanation is different from what actually happened. Read the update here.
Original story follows below.
A group of uniformed military officers assaulted two civilians in Bali’s Buleleng regency, a viral video that has been widely circulating since yesterday evening showed.
With the clip having sparked outrage online, the military is now urging the public to refrain from offering speculations surrounding the assault, alleging that the incident was triggered by a civilian hitting a commander. The video itself showed a bunch of officers ganging up on two civilians, some of them hitting and kicking on the men, while another threw a bucket of water at them, among other things.
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“My head was hit from behind by one of the local residents. Seeing me, the commander, being hit, my officers who were on duty reacted immediately. And so the person got hit,” Windra Lisrianto, a Military District Commander in Buleleng regency, said.
The incident, which occurred yesterday morning, started with the Buleleng COVID-19 Task Force conducting tracing and a mass rapid antigen swab test in Sidetapa Village. The military was reportedly in charge of putting up roadblocks and escorting the health officers. According to Windra, the majority of Sidetapa residents had refused to be tested.
At around 11am, Windra said two teenage boys on a motorbike refused to be stopped by the military for a swab test, and allegedly hit an officer. This led to a chase and an altercation, during which another resident allegedly hit Windra’s head from behind. The viral clip, according to Windra, only showed an incomplete version of the incident.
Several reports suggest efforts for mediation weren’t fruitful, and Buleleng Police confirmed to Coconuts this morning that Windra has filed a report. At the time of publication, police have yet to receive any reports from Sidetapa residents.
Village officials from Sidetapa have yet to provide any statements regarding the incident, though an internal discussion is reportedly ongoing.
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