Bali has been outraged by a viral video of a street fight in Kuta on Saturday night. The footage was snapped by an eyewitness who later posted it on their Instagram. The video caught the attention of Kuta police and local entrepreneur and social justice activist Niluh Djelantik.
Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident. In the clip, it appears that a group of foreigners are swinging punches, kicks, and grabbing at a local moped driver. The gang can be seen pulling at the driver’s clothes and, in one moment, even appearing to rip his motorcycle helmet off. The brawl broke out in the middle of the street. In the background, cars and other mopeds can be heard honking their horns. A woman can be heard screaming for help from the police.
Warning: Viewer Discretion Advised
The Head of the Kuta Police, AKP Yogie Pramagita, spoke with reporters on Sunday 18th September confirming events as they understood them. Pramagita said, ‘The statement is still being taken…they [the fighters] are from Russia…this is still being interrogated’. The faces of the individuals can be clearly seen in the footage. Locals are hoping that the video will provide police with sufficient imagery to identify the perpetrators.
Speaking separately, the Head of Public Relations of the Bali Police, Kombes Pol Satake Bayu, told reporters that legal proceedings are underway. He suggested that he had been in contact with foreign ministries over the case. He explained that ‘state representatives in Bali are expected to be able to educate their citizens who are in Bali’.
The video begins just moments after the fight breaks out. It remains unclear what triggered the fighting to start. In the first frame of the video, the moped can be seen already lying on the ground. The driver appears to be trying to get back to his feet and run away from the attackers.
He is barefoot and appears to be in black tracksuit trousers and a plan back t-shirt. He is grabbed by two men, one in a white shirt and the other in a blue. As the driver ducks out go their grip, two other men start kicking and punching him, while the man in the white shirt starts throwing punches at another man who has launched himself into the melee.
The video caught the attention of local businesswoman Niluh Djelantik who reposted the video to her 388k followers. She highlights how the issue needs urgent attention and that the driver may end up with more than just bruises. She explained in her caption that the moped he is driving is likely rented, and the damage caused during the incident will be his to resolve. Even if he is the bike owner, repairs could cost millions of Indonesian rupiah.
Djelantik won the hearts of many a few weeks back as she scolded a Lebanese tourist in Bali for verbally abusing the elderly man whose accommodation he had been staying in. During a community-mitigated restorative justice dialogue, Djelantik reprimanded the Lebanese man who went viral for screaming in the face of his 70-year-old landlord over a rental dispute.
In her caption, Djelantik writes, ‘This is the kind of garbage tourist we want? If you’re fighting in the boxing ring, don’t do it on the street’. She calls on the police to take action, acknowledging that they may be tired of dealing with such incidences. She writes, ‘Mr/Mrs. Police, forgive us who often bother you. Please let these people be ordered and made to understand that Indonesia is a lawful country, and they are guests who must respect the hosts’.
Online commentators have shared their support for the driver and their outrage at the incident. Commenters shared that they felt scared watching the clip, while others echoed Djelantik’s anger and frustration. She remarked, ‘Bali is dignified, Indonesia tourism window must be guarded. Do not let this barbaric behavior be imitated by tourists visiting other areas in Indonesia’.
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