JAKARTA • Indonesian police fired tear gas at a crowd hurling stones and Molotov cocktails in East Jakarta yesterday, as security forces moved in to evict people from a slum and demolish their houses.
Twelve people were injured and 27 arrested during the violent clashes in Kampung Pulo, a densely populated area on the banks of a river.
The clashes also resulted in an excavator being set on fire.
Hundreds of residents resisted efforts by police in riot gear to evict them from their homes in an area that sees serious flooding each year during the rainy season, and move them to newer apartment blocks.
"These people demanded to be compensated but we did not give in to them," said Mr Kukuh Hadi Santoso, Jakarta's chief public order officer, who added that as the people did not have certificates proving home ownership, the authorities would not compensate them.
Disputes over land occur frequently in Indonesia when the authorities or businesses seek to clear areas for new projects.
Ownership is unclear in most cases as land is often passed down from generation to generation without any proper documentation.
Mr Santoso said 972 houses would be knocked down as the area is frequently hit by floods, adding that he hoped the demolition would be complete by the end of today.