Purwakarta cracks down on illicit trysts

A couple was forced to get married and another expelled from a village as Purwakarta regency in West Java province launched a crackdown on late-night trysts.

Under a bylaw introduced in June in Purwakarta, couples aged 17 and above could be forced to marry each other if caught alone after 9 pm.

A 50-year-old divorced man and his 46-year-old lover became among the first to fall foul of the bylaw as they were rounded up and made to tie the knot in a religious ceremony, said Purwakarta government spokesman Hendra Fadly.

“They were raided by customary officers because they ignored repeated warnings,” Hendra said.

“They owned up to their mistake and were willing to get married,” he said.

It was not clear if the couple had deliberately ignored the warnings so that they could get married at no cost.

In another incident, a young couple were expelled from a village after they were caught together in the woman’s rented house at 3 am on Wednesday, the spokesman said.

Neither of them were originally from the village, he said.

Purwakarta district chief Dedi Mulyadi has said the bylaw was aimed at fighting “immorality that has eroded the faith of the youth.”

A number of local governments in Indonesia have since the 2000s imposed bylaws inspired by Islamic law which human rights group said violate personal freedoms.

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