Brimob personnel, who had initially decided on forming a barricade and using tear gas, went a step further by ransacking and dispersing a rioting crowd, according to an Antara journalist's observation at the scene at 6:15 a.m. local time on Thursday.
During the operation, dozens of people were detained, while several others fled.
By 5:30 a.m. local time, security personnel got engaged in exchanges of fire with the protestors at Wahid Hasyim Street next to the Bawaslu building.
However, the streets around the building wore a desolate look after the fire fight broke out, with stones, trash, and tear gas shells strewn around.
In spite of the place being deserted, several Brimob personnel on motorcycles were yet on standby. By Thursday morning, public access to the streets was yet closed.
The police was able to move the rioters out of Wahid Hasyim Street before dawn on Thursday. Nonetheless, a few rioters stayed put but did not attack the police.
By Thursday morning, MH Thamrin Street in front of the Bawaslu building remained closed to the public, with thousands of Brimob personnel on guard in the middle of the street.
The May 22 riot erupted after demonstrators protested against alleged fraud in the April 17 presidential election in front of the Bawaslu building
in Central Jakarta. The riot sparked off at 9:15 p.m. local time on Wednesday after the demonstrators began hurling objects at the police barricade.
The riot, the second of its kind since the day before, eased on Thursday morning.(*)