Indonesia steps up security in Jakarta amid forthcoming demonstrations hinh anh 1Demonstration in Jarkarta on November 14 demanding resignation of  the capital's Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama on alleged blasphemy (Photo: The Jakarta Post)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian police said on November 24 that it will deploy 8,700 personnel to monitor massive demonstrations scheduled for November 25 and December 2 in Jakarta.

There will be 50 companies of police supplied by 21 provinces, making a total of 87 companies of police to be deployed in the capital city for the upcoming demonstrations, said Commander of the National Police Brigade Murad Ismail, adding that every group comprised of 100 personnel.

Policemen from regions will be tasked to guard 39 locations in West, East and North Jakarta while the others will be charged to guard at the Parliament building and the Presidential Palace, according to Murad.

Police who monitor the upcoming demonstrations will not be armed, he added.

The same day, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo called for calm amid escalating religious tension as helicopters dropped police leaflets over the capital, warning residents of risks of harsh punishment if new rallies led by Islamic groups turn violent.

The Muslim hardliners also vowed to hold more demonstrations to call for the ouster of Christian governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purhama, who was accused of defaming the Koran. The group has planned to stage Friday prayers at two Jakarta’s main roads located in business districts of Sudirman and Thamrin as part of their demonstrations

Previously, more than 100,000 Muslim hardliners attended a massive protest in Jakarta on November 4 to demand the resignation of Purhama. One person was killed and tens of others, including policemen, were injured in the demonstration.-VNA