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Jak governor fronts police for questioning

AAP logoAAP 7/11/2016 Lauren Farrow and Heru Rahadi

Jakarta's governor has arrived at police headquarters for questioning over blasphemy allegations, just days after a protest calling for his arrest turned violent in the Indonesian capital.

Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly referred to as Ahok, arrived at National Police Headquarters in South Jakarta around 1130 AEDT on Monday.

Police are investigating claims he committed blasphemy during a speech at the Thousand Islands, north of Jakarta on September 28, in which he said detractors were using a Koranic verse to lie to voters.

Ahok is Christian and ethnically Chinese.

Hardline religious groups have seized on verse Al Maidah 51 from the Koran, arguing Muslims should not allow themselves to be led by a Christian or a Jew.

Ahok maintains he meant no offence and has apologised, but on Friday more than 100,000 people descended on Jakarta calling for his arrest.

The protest took a violent turn after night fell with the remaining demonstrators breaching the police barricade with officers firing tear gas.

An elderly man died from asthma, eight military and police officers were badly injured, three military and police vehicles burnt and about 160 people treated for tear gas inhalation.

Jakarta Police Spokesman Awi Setiyono said 13 people have been named suspects following opportunistic looting at a mini-mart in Penjaringan on Friday night.

President Joko Widodo remains in Jakarta - postponing his visit to Australia in order to focus on domestic issues.

National Police spokesman Inspector General Boy Amar said police were investigating President Widodo's suspicions that "political actors" were behind the violence.

"The intelligence unit of the National Police is in charge of (the investigation)," the Jakarta Post reported him saying.

Ahok is in the midst of a three-way battle to run Jakarta with Agus Yudhoyono - the son of the former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - and Jokowi's ex-education minister Anies Baswedan.

The Democratic Party - which is headed by SBY - has hit out at the president, saying he must clarify his allegations.

"The president has to reveal the names that he alleges (were involved) in order to prevent suspicions among the public," the Jakarta Post quoted the party's executive Syariefuddin Hasan as saying.

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