Klungkung Villagers’ Tempers Flare over Cemetery

SEMARAPURA ~ Two villages in Klungkung Regency were on the verge of violent clashes when disagreements over a shared cemetery flared up on Sunday, police officer.
According to officers on the scene, the problem started when the burial of Nengah Sumendra, 54, from Bucu village was opposed by Besang Kangin village on Saturday.
Sumendra’s family claimed it was their right to bury him there as other family members were also buried in the cemetery.
To avoid a conflict, a meeting between officials from the two villages was held by subdistricts head I.B Mataram and head of Klungkung Police IB Putra, but the issue was not resolved.
Head of Bucu village Dewa Cakra Negara said the family of the deceased man had the right to bury him in the graveyard according to traditional religious law (dresta).
“We don’t care what happens; the family will continue with the ceremony in the graveyard,” Negara said.
An official from Besang Kangin, Nengah Sudana, said he was unwilling to decide whether to give permission for the burial until he had spoken to citizens of the village, but the villagers refused to meet with their officials, choosing instead to block the graveyard themselves.
Officials said citizens of Bucu postponed the ceremony until 3pm, when they went to the cemetery with crowbars and hoes as weapons.
According to witnesses, police and local officials were called when the residents of both villages confronted each other in front of the cemetery, shouting and waving weapons.
Bucu’s citizens, including the family of the deceased, were greatly outnumbered and finally had to return to their village, where they buried Sumendra in another cemetery.
“We have accepted what happened, on the condition that we can cremate the bodies buried in Besang Kangin graveyard,” said Suatha.

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