Mass prayer by Muslims to pressure the police to arrest Ahok

Thousands of Muslim worshippers have been gathering at the National Monument square in Central Jakarta since Friday morning to join a mass prayer aimed to put pressure on the police to detain Jakarta governor Basuki Ahok Tjahata Purnama for alleged blasphemy, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Friday.

Initiated by the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesia Ulema Council’s Fatwa, the mass prayer was scheduled to start at 8 am. But many of the worshippers arrived as early as 5.30 am.

Hundreds of policemen, wearing white Muslim caps, are on standby at the site of the rally.

Police earlier expected the crowd could swell to several tens of thousands.

Meanwhile, another protest by workers to protest the nation’s minimum wages was set for today in Jakarta. The Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union claimed that as many as 50,000 workers would join the rally at the City Hall at 10 am before they march to the State Palace where they are going to stay put until in the evening.

The National Police have announced traffic rerouting to address potential traffic gridlock. Traffic on JI Medan Merdeka Barat which is the main access road to the monument compound will be rerouted to nearby streets.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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