Indonesian police fire tear gas, water cannon at residents protesting eviction in Jakarta

Residents clash with police and civil security personnel during a demolition of some 150 shanty houses in Jakarta on Aug 20, 2015.
Residents clash with police and civil security personnel during a demolition of some 150 shanty houses in Jakarta on Aug 20, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Residents facing eviction from a flood-prone part of Indonesia's capital of Jakarta clashed with the police on Thursday (Aug 20), prompting security forces to fire tear gas and water cannon.

Land disputes are common in Indonesia, where efforts by government and business to acquire and clear property are frequently held back by overlapping permits and a legacy of unclear land titles, often resulting in violence.

At least two police officers and three residents were injured in Thursday's clashes, according to police, adding there were 27 arrests.

The latest clash centres around efforts by Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to remove squatters and demolish housing along the banks of Jakarta's Ciliwung River in Kampung Pulo, which frequently floods during the monsoon season.

According to Jakarta police chief Tito Karnavian, the government hoped to relocate residents from some 546 dwellings in Kampung Pulo, but many had asked for compensation instead of the alternative housing on offer.