Batam workers riot

And all these fearsome power of riot was unleashed because an Indian supervisor one Mr. Ganesh insulting the Indonesian workers with the word 'stupid'.

Respect, Mr. Ganesh. Respect your fellow human being. Or else.

Thousands of furious Indonesian factory workers set fire to cars and dockyard buildings on Thursday after an Indian company executive called them 'stupid,' police and media reports said.

Nine people were reportedly injured when about 5,000 workers went on the rampage at a factory belonging to PT Drydock World Graha in Batam city, a special economic area south of Singapore, police said. 'An Indian company executive called us, Indonesian workers, 'stupid' and this made us very angry,' a worker called Disra was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

Around 400 police were called to the scene and evacuated 41 unidentified foreign staff from the seaside factory in boats, Antara reported. Up to 20 cars were set alight, along with a warehouse and two other buildings belonging to the company.

Local police commander Leonidas Braksan addressed the crowd through a loudspeaker and appealed for calm. 'I am on your side. I want you all to keep working well. Your families are waiting for you and your salaries at home,' he said, according to Antara.

He said any foreigner who had insulted Indonesia should leave the country, bringing cheers from the workers who also sang the national anthem and other patriotic songs.

National police spokesman Zulkarnain said the situation 'is now under control and we escorted the protestors outside the company's complex.'

From Straits Times, "Batam workers riot over slur".

Security officers observe a car damaged during a riot at a shipbuilding company PT Drydocks World Graha on Batam Island. At least 45 Indian expatriates were evacuated from the commotion on Thursday. – Antara/Jo Seng Bie

At least 45 Indian workers were evacuated from a riot at shipbuilding company PT Drydocks World Graha dockyard at Tanjung Uncang in Batam, Riau Islands province, Thursday.

Riau Island Police deputy chief Sr. Comr Bambang BS said that the 45 people were evacuated by a police patrol boat to the local police headquarters for safety reasons.

The police, he said, were still investigating the riot, which was reportedly caused by a humiliating statement by one of the Indian managers at the company, who said that Indonesians were "stupid".

Hari Ariadewa of the company's quality control unit said that the riot was sparked by a statement by an Indian supervisor, identified as Mr. Ganesh, who berated one of the Indonesian workers for making a mistake.

This statement was frequently uttered by the Indian supervisor to his subordinates, Hari said.

“The derogatory remark sparked anger among [thousands of] Indonesian workers. A riot then spread to other units,” he added.

Two of the Indian workers were seriously injured, dozens of vehicles and other facilities were set alight and a storage warehouse was destroyed.

From Jakarta Post, "45 Indian workers evacuated from riot in Batam".

Thousands of Indonesian workers of PT Drydock World Graha company factory workers ran a riot on Thursday at the shipping company's dockyard at Tanjung Uncang in Batam, Riau Islands province, the Jakarta Post reported.

They had made two Indian workers seriously injured, dozens of vehicles and other facilities set alight, and a storage warehouse destroyed.

The riot began after an Indian supervisor said that Indonesians were "stupid" while berating an Indonesian worker for making a mistake, a witness said, adding that the humiliating statement was frequently uttered by the Indian supervisor to his subordinates.

Local police had evacuated at least 45 Indian workers of the company with a patrol boat to local police headquarters.

From People's Daily Online, "Indonesian angry workers riot against rude Indian supervisor in Batam".

Four employee cars were reportedly burned and 23 other were broken in a violence in PT Drydock World Graha in Batam, Riau Islands province on Thursday. An Indian citizen named Willendra was badly injured after he was attacked by workers angry over his alleged racist statement. Riau Police said in Metro TV that situation had been restored and the tension was over. The rioting workers had stopped and returned to their post.

“Thank God the workers have come to their senses. Workers from Bangladesh and India have been evacuated. The most important thing is to save them first,” Riau Islands Deputy Police Chief Sr. Comr. Bambang BS said in Metro TV.

Willendra and at least 40 other foreign workers were evacuated from the factory on a National Police boat to Barelang area, also in Batam. They are currently at Barelang Police Headquarters while Willendra is treated at an unidentified hospital.

The fire had been contained and workers would clean up the place.

“Very soon the company will resume activities as usual,” Bambang added.

State news agency Antara reported that Willendra allegedly said something provocative which sparked anger of his Indonesian colleagues and led to the violence. One worker was quoted by Antara alleging that the unrest was triggered after an Indian national said “Indonesian people were stupid.”

Around 500 police officers are still guarding the company premise. At least four of the workers were injured and about 20 vehicles set alight, Antara reported. The offices have also been trashed.

One worker was quoted by Antara as alleging that the unrest was triggered after an Indian national said “Indonesian people were stupid.”

“This is national pride, so we are all angry,” the local, identified as Baim, said.

About 10,000 Indonesians were observed crowding the company premises singing “Great Indonesia” and other patriotic songs, Antara reported.

The National Maritime Institute (Namarin) said the recent violence at Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta was likely to raise shipping insurance costs, and its “international reputation as an export and import gate will plummet.”

The Joint War Committee, a London organization that analyzes shipping risks, had listed maritime regions in Indonesia as “war risk zones” that might pose dangers to domestic or international ships.

From Jakarta Globe, "Situation Eases in Batam After Mass Violence".


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