HOUSEWIVES 1. ISLAMIC DEFENDERS FRONT 0.
Medan, North Sumatra. A leader of Indonesia’s Islamic Defenders Front more than met his match in the form of dozens of enraged housewives on Tuesday.
Suara Pembaruan reported that Darma Bakti Ginting, chairman of the provincial branch of the hard-line group, known as the FPI, and a number of his armed followers were forced to flee to safety after they attempted to evict a mother and her newborn baby from a disputed property.
Though the FPI members escaped without injury, the same could not be said for Darma’s van, which was badly damaged by the rampaging women.
“What the housewives did here was spontaneous and it was because we care for our neighbors who are in trouble,” Evi, a witness, told the newspaper. “This is also a warning to him [Ginting] not to harm poor people. Had the police not arrived here, we would have beaten him.”
Evi said the women became enraged after Ginting and other FPI members damaged a house belonging to Nurhayati, where she lives with her two-week-old baby.
“What he did was inhumane. Just because he’s the head of a mass organization, he thought he could take his men, armed, on motorbikes to damage Nurhayati’s house. He even took his wife and children to evict her,” Evi said.
Ginting claims ownership of the land on which Nurhayati’s house is built.
A local police officer told the paper that Ginting’s car had been towed to safety.
“We dispatched a team as soon as we heard what was happening,” the officer said. “The situation has returned to normal and I hope this won’t happen again.”