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Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia Investigates Elite Officers As Stadium Disaster Death Toll Rises, Check details

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Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia’s elite police officers were investigated on Tuesday over a stadium riot that killed 131 people, including dozens of children, in one of the deadliest disasters in soccer history.
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Indonesia Football Stampede: Seventeen children among the dead in Indonesian football stampede

Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia Investigates Elite Officers As Stadium Disaster Death Toll Rises, Check details

As public anger grew, police moved to punish those responsible for the crush in the city of Malang, which witnesses said started when officers fired tear gas into packed stands to quell a pitch invasion.

“As a regional police chief, I am concerned, saddened, and at the same time saddened by the shortcomings in the security process,” East Java Police Nico Afinta told this at a press conference on Tuesday.

The terraces at the Kanjuruhan stadium were packed on Saturday night with 42,000 “Aremania”, or Arema FC fans, for a match against fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.

But after a 3-2 defeat, the first home loss to their opponents in more than two decades, fans poured onto the pitch to confront the players and management.

Police described the incident as a riot and said two officers were killed, but survivors accused them of overreacting.
Officers responded to the pitch invasion with force, kicking and hitting fans with batons, according to witnesses and video footage, prompting more fans to enter the pitch.

“If there was a riot, (tear gas) should be fired on the field, not in the stands.” Danny Agung Prasetyo, coordinator of supporters’ group Arema DC, told AFP.

The death toll rose again on Tuesday, with local health official Wiyanto Wijoyo telling AFP that six more victims had succumbed to their injuries.

Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia Investigates Elite Officers As Stadium Disaster Death Toll Rises, Check details

Indonesian officials said 4,000 more tickets had been allocated for the match than should have been, while some of the stadium’s doors appeared to have been closed, according to witnesses.

It left physically stronger supporters scaling large fences to escape the chaos, while the most vulnerable were at the mercy of crushing as tear gas rained down.

“The doors were closed, that’s why people pushed. Some lay down in the corner” by a closed gate to try to escape the crush, a 16-year-old survivor of the chaos told AFP.

Malang’s police chief was replaced on Monday, nine officers were suspended and 19 others were investigated over the disaster at the stadium, which was filled only with hometown Arema FC fans, national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said.

He said those suspended were members of the Mobile Brigade Corps, or Brimob, a unit that serves as the special operations paramilitary unit of the Indonesian police force and is notorious for its aggressive crowd control tactics.

Indonesia’s football federation also moved on Tuesday to sanction Arema FC, banning its organizing committee chairman and a security officer from football for life and fining the club 250 million rupiah ($16,000) for the tragedy.

Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia Investigates Elite Officers As Stadium Disaster Death Toll Rises, Check details

Arema FC fans have set up an outdoor stall in Malang on Monday to receive legal complaints. They said they would sue officers for causing what they said were dozens of deaths by indiscriminately attacking spectators on enclosed patios.

The Indonesian government suspended the country’s national soccer league and announced a task force to investigate the tragedy.

It said the investigation would take two to three weeks.

Calls for an independent investigation have grown since details of the storm surge began to emerge over the weekend.
“There is no instruction to fire tear gas and there is no instruction to lock the door,” Albertus Wahyurudhanto, a commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), told a press conference on Tuesday.

The fan’s anger was vented outside the stadium, where a police truck was torched and the walls plastered with graffiti that read “Tear Gas vs Mother’s Tears” and “Our friends died here”.

More vigils were planned in Malang on Tuesday after fans and Arema FC players gathered outside the stadium the day before to lay flowers at the site and pray for the victims.

Among the dead were 32 children, an official at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection told AFP, adding that the youngest was three or four years old.

Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia Investigates Elite Officers As Stadium Disaster Death Toll Rises, Check details

Fifa safety guidelines prohibit the use of crowd control gas by police or stewards on the pitch.

Gianni Infantino, president of soccer’s global governing body, called the tragedy a “dark day” for football, while Brazilian superstar Pele expressed his condolences, saying “violence and sports do not go together”.

The Olympic Council of Asia held a minute’s silence at its board meeting in Cambodia on Tuesday. Violence by football fans is an ongoing problem in Indonesia and Persebaya Surabaya supporters had been banned
game because of it. But fans said they were not to blame.

Everything that could go wrong at a soccer match seemed to do so on Saturday night, culminating in a disaster never seen before in an Indonesian stadium.

“You could see and sense that something bad could potentially happen. That’s the kind of fear you usually get when you travel to a game here,” This is what the Indonesian football expert Pangeran Siahaan tells AFP.

“There are many dangers every time you enter a football stadium in Indonesia.”

Indonesia Stadium Stampede: Indonesia Investigates Elite Officers As Stadium Disaster Death Toll Rises, Check details

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