Journalist allegedly assaulted over empty seat on TransJakarta bus

TransJakarta bus. Photo: Instagram/@pt_transjakarta
TransJakarta bus. Photo: Instagram/@pt_transjakarta

A Jakarta man was allegedly assaulted on board a TransJakarta bus yesterday in an incident that has attracted significant public outrage due to what reportedly triggered the assault.

Today, TransJakarta gave an account of what transpired yesterday afternoon on a bus heading from Tebet station to Karet.

“There were two male passengers got into a fight because they bumped into each other, and one of them insulted the other … The passenger who was insulted then punched the other person,” TransJakarta spokesperson Nadia Diposanjoyo said in a press release today. 

However, the alleged victim of this fight, identified as journalist Rizky Suryarandika by local media outlets, gave his own account of what happened.

“No one bumped into each other actually, I was just elbowed all of a sudden as if I was looking for a fight,” Rizky told Kompas.

According to Rizky, the alleged assaulter — who is yet to be identified — was unhappy that Rizky took the seat next to him. Rizky alleged that the aggressor wanted two seats to himself, so he attempted to shove Rizky off his seat. 

Rizky explained that the alleged assaulter was bigger than he is. During the bus ride, Rizky remained in his seat while typing on his phone, and was elbowed as he got up to get off the bus, according to a report by state news agency Antara.  

“It upset me, so I asked him what he meant by doing so,” Rizky said. 

Instead of apologizing, the other passenger allegedly pushed Rizky and punched him in the face, wounding his nose and the temple on his left eye, which caused temporary damage to his eyesight.

They were then separated by a TransJakarta officer inside the bus, while other passengers only watched the whole thing unfold in silence.

“It’s unfortunate how other passengers were rather apathetic when the incident happened,” Rizky said. 

After the incident, Rizky filed a police report against the alleged aggressor to the South Jakarta Police. 

“I want this case to be processed according to existing regulations, I don’t want something similar to happen again.” 

Under Indonesian law, assault is a crime punishable by up to two years and eight months in prison.


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