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Police in Bogor Make Arrest Over Ahmadiyah Violence
Zaky Pawas, Farouk Arnaz & Arientha Primanita | October 05, 2010
Jakarta. Police have arrested an Ahmadiyah member alleged to have stabbed a teenager during last week’s attack on the minority Islamic sect in Ciampea, Bogor.
Adj. Comr. Zulkarnaen Harahap, Bogor Police’s chief of detectives, said on Monday that three other suspects, who are not members of the sect, were being sought.
The attack on Friday evening saw a mob ransack and burn down houses and a mosque in Cisalada village, home to 600 members of the Ahmadiyah — deemed a deviant sect by many mainstream Muslims.
Zulkarnaen said police had arrested a 30-year-old Ahmadi, identified only as AN, who was accused of stabbing Rendi Apriansyah, 15, during the violence.
“We are charging AN for now under Article 351 of the Criminal Code on aggravated assault, which carries a maximum prison term of five years,” Zulkarnaen told the Jakarta Globe.
Rendi, a student at a Bogor technical school, is being treated at the Bogor Indonesian Red Cross Hospital.
Zulkarnaen said that according to initial police investigations, Rendi was stabbed by AN because the teenager was pelting the Ahmadiyah mosque with stones.
He said Rendi was part of the first wave of attackers, numbering around 200, who broke the windows of At-Taufiq Mosque and set it on fire using Molotov cocktails.
A second group of attackers arrived later and looted 17 homes.
Zulkarnaen said that three other suspects, believed to have been involved in the attack on the mosque and homes, were being sought by police.
The attackers, believed to be residents of neighboring villages, also destroyed a kindergarten, an Islamic elementary school, a car and seven motorcycles during the violence.
“They [the suspects] were involved in the ransacking, looting and burning of the homes of the Ahmadiyah. None of them have been arrested,” Zulkarnaen said.
The four suspects were named after police questioned 20 witnesses, both members of Ahmadiyah and non-Ahmadis.
“We might still question more people. This case is not done yet,” Zulkarnaen said, adding that at least 400 police officers and soldiers had been deployed to Cisalada to prevent a repeat of the violence.
“Acting on instructions issued by West Java Police headquarters, the Ahmadis will receive protection here for an indefinite period, until things calm down,” Zulkarnaen said. Insp. Gen. Sutarman, the newly promoted Jakarta Police chief, acknowledged weaknesses in intelligence-gathering in relation to the Cisalada violence.
Sutarman, the former West Java Police chief, was promoted on Monday, replacing Comr. Gen. Timur Pradopo, who was appointed chief for security management at National Police headquarters and who was also named a candidate for National Police chief.
Sutarman, who had been appointed West Java Police chief in June, is expected to be replaced by Insp. Gen. Suparto Parni.
The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy has criticized Sutarman’s appointment as Jakarta Police chief, pointing to what it said was his failure to address a string of attacks targeting minority religious groups in West Java.
“[Sutarman’s] track record as West Java Police chief must be considered, as there have been many cases of religious intolerance there,” said Ismail Hasani, a researcher at Setara.
Friday’s attack on the Ahmadiyah community in Bogor came just months after a similar attack on the sect in the province.
In July, Muslims and security personnel clashed with Ahmadiyah members over the closure of several mosques in Kuningan.
More recently, on Sept. 12, two Protestant church leaders in Bekasi were attacked by youths who said the leaders were not welcome in the area.
Asia Sihombing, an elder of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) in Pondok Timur Indah, was stabbed by unknown assailants, while the Rev. Luspida Simandjuntak, a fellow leader, was beaten with a stick.
Both were taken to Mitra Keluarga Hospital in East Bekasi, where Sihombing underwent surgery and had to be monitored in the intensive care unit.