A huge brawl between gangs broke out in the Kebayoran Lama district of South Jakarta on Saturday, claiming the life of a school student under extremely shocking circumstances.
According to the South Jakarta Police, around 50 teenagers from various schools from around Jakarta made up the two warring gangs. One of them, a 16-year-old identified by his initials AH, was killed during the brawl after he was stabbed several times.
Even more shockingly, the police said members of the victim’s opposing gang splashed acid on his dead body.
The police have so far arrested 11 teenagers in relation to the brawl. Despite their status as minors, the police said they may charge the teenagers to the full extent of the law due to the horrifying nature of their alleged crime. The arrested teenagers are currently in police custody at a child rehabilitation center.
Police say the brawl happened after members of both gangs taunted each other on Instagram the previous day. They all agreed to meet up on the Saturday specifically to fight one another.
Ultra-violent brawls like this are unfortunately common in Jakarta and Indonesia. Just last month, a student in South Tangerang had a katana pierce through his cheek during one.
While teenagers around the world get into fights, in Indonesia and especially around Jakarta there is a culture of school rivalries leading to massive ritualistic brawls called tawuran that can involve dozens of participants and can often turn deadly. In a documentary by Al-Jazeera last year, some of the children interviewed that brawling is a rite of passage to manhood, while one said that they fight each other “for fun”.