Gusti Belem
Birth name Gusti Belem bin Gusti Habib
Ethnicity Banjarese (Gusti Belem)
Madurese (Pasuwati)
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Attack information
Date March 22, 1887
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location(s) Kupang, Dutch East Indies
Killed 7-12
Injured 13-15
Weapon(s) Kris

Gusti Belem bin Gusti Habib (also spelled Gusti Bello) and Pasuwati (also spelled Basso Watie) were two Indonesians who killed at least seven people and wounded at least thirteen others in Kupang, Dutch East Indies on March 22, 1887.[1]

Gusti Belem was a Banjarese chieftain from Eastern Borneo, who was described as overconfident and headstrong. In his homeland he was feared and was said to be invulnerable, a belief he also shared himself. After participating in riots in Teweh in 1885 he was exiled, denied to stay further in Southern and Eastern Borneo, and ordered to remain in Kupang, where the government allowed him 10 guilders a month, but after not receiving his money for six months he resorted to robbery to make ends meet.[2][3][4][5] [6]

Together with Pasuwati, a Madurese former forced labourer, he stole money from an Arabian merchant named Salah Jaweh. That morning between 9 a.m. and noon Gusti Belem and a convict named Pasuwati

On March 22 Gusti Belem was to be interrogated at the residence of the chief jaksa (a judicial officer) Thupuring, as he was accused of three thefts. There he grabbed a kris, that was apparently put in corner for him, killed the chief jaksa with a a stab in the chest, and seriously wounded his two guards. Subsequently he rushed out into the street to the Gouvernements school, where he tried to enter, but was apprehended by the personnel of the nearby residence office, overpowered, and taken to jail. There he confessed to the murders and stated that he had help from Pasuwati, a forced labourer, who killed the jaksa, six people died, had conspired with Pasuwati to run amok,[2][4][5]

Pasuwati killed the jaksa then went home, but was later arrested after Gusti Belem's confession. Gusti Belem meanwhile ran amok on town square killing everyone crossing his path until he was overpowered by a polioceman, several days later was visited in prison by the Keizer van Klein-Zonnebeit, as most of the victims were his subjects, case was transferred to the justice board in Makassar, as Gusti was member of the nobilty[7][8][9]

Gusti Belem and Madurese forced labourer Pasuwati were accused of a robbing an arabian merchant named Saleh Djaweh, they hid with their booty in a house outside the town, when the chief jaksa arrived to arrest them Pasuwati killed him, while Gusti Belem escaped, made his way to the building of the assistant resident to kill the European administration, killed on his way seven people, wounded 13 others, at the residence he was felled by one of the guards with a stone, when guards tried to take him into custody he resisted, wounded two of them, then was struck down with a sabre and tied up and taken to jail, After the murder of the jaksa Pasuwati tried to escape but was killed by the townspeople[10]

According to early reports besides the jaksa 25 people were injured by Gusti, eleven of them fatally, however, later reports stated that he killed seven people and wounded 14 others, some of them perhaps fatally.[3][11][12]




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