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Illicit CP - December 2000

Straits Times, Singapore, 13 December 2000

Workers attack factory after women whipped

Factory boss is under investigation by the police for lashing nine women employees in front of other workers for negligence in their work

JAKARTA - Hundreds of enraged workers of a jam-making factory and people living around it went on a rampage in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi after the factory boss whipped nine women employees.

The incident took place in the Gowa regency after Fiter Johnson Tombilakan, head of PT Usti, struck the women workers on the buttocks with a sturdy whip on Saturday, Antara reported on Monday.

According to the Indonesian Observer, he got angry with the women after they mixed ripe and unripe markisa in a big vat, which was likely to reduce the quality of the sticky jam.

Several male employees looked on as the women were struck firmly on the buttocks, although they felt the humiliating 'punishment' was unacceptable, the paper said.

The male workers later informed local community leaders of the incident, reported the Observer.

The local leaders responded by ordering them to attack the factory head.

The factory workers and local people on Sunday night searched the factory boss' house and factory but could not locate him as he had taken refuge in a police station.

The angry mob then began to destroy the factory.

But before they could burn it down, Gowa police and a company of Mobile Brigade police personnel arrived on the scene and stopped them from doing so.

The police dispersed the rampaging mob by firing warning shots in the air.

'We are now still interrogating the president-director and some of the workers who witnessed the whippings,' the Gowa police chief, Senior Superintendent Udaya, was quoted by the Indonesian Observer as saying.

Copyright © 2000 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

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