State University of Medan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Indonesian police have arrested four security guards and launched a manhunt for seven suspects linked to the fatal bashing of two men at the State University of Medan in northern Sumatra last week.

Two residents of the Siodorejo subdistrict in Mean Tembung, Medan, named Jhony Fernando Silalahi and Steven Sihombing entered the university on February 19 on a motorcycle, The Jakarta Post reported. They were accused of stealing helmets belonging to two people who informed campus security officials about the alleged theft.

When the two were leaving the campus, four security guards stopped them and demanded to see their vehicle registration documents, which they could not produce.

The security guards reportedly tried to search the motorcycle for the helmets but the two would not let them do that. The two were then handcuffed and reportedly beaten. Authorities said that one of the two died at the scene, while the other died on the way to the hospital.

A video of the beating surfaced online and went viral.

Police say several witnesses in the case, including the students whose helmets were said to have been stolen, were brought in for questioning. According to Medan Police criminal unit chief Putu Yudha Prawira, some of the suspects linked to the beating are students at the university.

The four security guards – identified as M. Arya Prasta, 22, Bagus Prayetno, 18, M. Abul Kadir, 21 and Feri Zulham, 26 – were taken in for questioning. They subsequently confessed to the assault.

They have been charged with aggravated assault that led to a person’s death and could face up to 13 years in jail if convicted.

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